The Hypersomnia Foundation is pleased to announce that we have created a new Anesthesia Guide, expressly designed for people with idiopathic hypersomnia (IH). This document, entitled “Anesthesia and IH: A Patient Guide,” is free for download from our website HERE.
People with IH may face a unique set of challenges around the time of an operation or procedure involving anesthesia, which may impact their symptoms and medications. For example, sedating medications can worsen IH symptoms, and people with IH may be slower to awaken from anesthesia (called “delayed emergence”). In addition, some IH medications may reduce the effect of anesthetic medications, while other IH medications may increase the effect of anesthetic medications. Complicating these issues even more is the fact that many healthcare professionals may lack knowledge about IH and its management. Therefore, it is vitally important for patients with IH to be their own advocate, and to ensure that all of their healthcare providers pay special attention to managing their IH symptoms before, during, and after a procedure.
To assist you in this task, we have also prepared an “Anesthesia Care Plan” form, which can be used alongside our Anesthesia Guide. This form, which is also free, can be downloaded HERE. Once you download the form, you can list your specific IH medications, your IH symptoms, any problems you may have encountered with anesthesia in the past, and summaries of any discussions you may have with your healthcare team about recommended alternative medications or anesthesia techniques. You can then share your individualized Anesthesia Care Plan, along with our Anesthesia Guide, with your healthcare team at every stage of your procedure, to ensure that every member of your medical team is aware of your IH and how it can interact with anesthesia.
Our Anesthesia Guide and Care Plan were developed in collaboration with Dr. Sena Aflaki and Dr. Mandeep Singh of the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Women’s College Hospital, and Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto. (Attendees of our recent HF conference in Baltimore will remember Dr. Singh as the presenter who talked about the anesthesia issues facing people with IH who were considering surgery.) Both documents were then approved by our Medical Advisory Board. We are grateful for all of their time, expertise, and assistance in crafting these documents.
So before you consider any procedure involving anesthesia, be sure to download both our Anesthesia Guide and our Anesthesia Care Plan, and share these documents with your healthcare team. They’re free, and they may help prevent any potential problems caused by the interaction between your IH and your anesthesia.
And if you (or a loved one) find these documents helpful, please consider making a donation to the Hypersomnia Foundation now. As a nonprofit organization, we are completely dependent on donations from people like you to help us fulfill our mission of improving the lives of people with IH and related disorders.