Morbidly obese patients and anesthesia are far from an ideal mix. These patients often suffer from sleep apnea and typically present with low lung and cardiac reserves. An obese patient's heart pumps at full throttle to barely maintain normalcy and lacks the power for increased output in times of stress ? it's analogous to using a compact car's engine to run a hulking SUV. Even small changes to the obese patient's vital system can cause serious problems, meaning the anesthesia provider must focus on maintaining vital physiological functions in the face of reduced lung capacity and cardiovascular reserve. Here's what you need to know about safe and effective anesthesia administration to your bariatric patients.
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