Carol was under anesthesia during an eye operation when she woke up, suddenly, hearing the orders, “Cut deeper, pull harder” and felt pressure, but no pain. Due to her anesthesia and a muscle relaxant, she was unable to communicate or move her body. She was unable to signal to the doctors, in the operating room, that she was awake. After having a successful surgery, Carol suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder due to the anesthesia complication and takes medication, in an attempt, to get past her terrifying surgical experience.
Going under the knife, for even the simplest of procedures, can be stressful and scary. Even when you wholeheartedly trust your medical professional, it’s hard to avoid and ignore the “what ifs”. According to the Mayo Health Clinic, Carol experienced “Anesthesia Awareness” and unfortunately, she is not alone.
Pradaxa (generic name dabigatran) prevents blood clots via the protein thrombin, which has been shown in trials to prevent blood coalescing in patients who display a specific heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation.
Approved in 2010, and administered in the form of capsules, Pradaxa reduces the likelihood of stroke, especially in the elderly. With more than 1.1 million prescriptions written since its licensing, Pradaxa looked like a winner, producing fewer side effects than warfarin, a Gen. 1 anticoagulant that once set the market standard.
At least that was the song and dance EU manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim gave the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, to garner approval for Pradaxa. The anti-coagulant, which one proponent called “warfarin 2.0”, was heralded as requiring less management and producing fewer side effects than warfarin, based on reports of patients and physicians who switched from warfarin to Pradaxa.
We often feel it quite an inconvenience to wait for hours to visit a doctor in the UK – however, it pales in comparison to Sub-Saharan Africa. When we feel irked to have to wait an hour or so, those in the African continent may have to travel a day to see a practitioner.
And that’s not just it, in the UK we have a ratio of 280:1 people to doctors, the USA has around 330: 1, however in countries like Kenya it can be upwards of 50,000:1. Ideally, cutting this figure is paramount. However, doctors take time, money and infrastructure to train and in the short and even medium term this is not a reality.