Seeing her for the first time again Youtube guy Jason Mortensen was filmed by his wife Candace in a video that was posted showing him groggily hitting on his wife, whom he did not recognize as he was emerging from general anesthesia.
Jason, who had undergone hernia surgery at American Fork Hospital in Utah, is shown lying almost supine and slurring his words and slowly moving his arms as he groggily awakes from anesthesia. He is confused that he does not recognize his wife of six years sitting next to him and forgets that he is even married when he queries who the “stranger” is.
While an amusing and charming tale in some aspects, one thing that is not funny that is shown in the video is that the patient is eating a cracker.
Supine patients in the recovery room who are experiencing emergence delirium after general anesthesia should never be given food – ever. As seen in the video his muscle movements are stilled slowed. Anesthesia affects motor endplates of both voluntary and involuntary muscles, including the muscles used in swallowing.
This patient is at risk for aspirating and/or laryngospasm – both serious post anesthesia events that can lead to significant morbidity and mortality.
It is certainly common for patients to be fed in the PACU post surgery in same day surgeries, but only after they are fully awake and upright. This usually means dressed for home and sitting in a chair.
What in the world was the staff thinking?