Do you have idiopathic hypersomnia (IH) or a related sleep disorder or do you treat patients with hypersomnias? If so, then it’s very important to prepare in advance for anesthesia, hospitalization, and emergencies.
People who have IH may face a unique set of challenges around the time of anesthesia or hospitalization, which may impact their symptoms and medications.
- Sedating medications (such as opioids and benzodiazepines) can worsen IH symptoms.
- People who have IH may respond differently to anesthesia and be slower to awaken from anesthesia—“delayed emergence”.
- The medications used to treat IH may significantly interact with anesthetics or other medicines.
- Specific sleep and medication schedules may be needed to avoid severe sleepiness/cognitive dysfunction that could mimic delirium
Complicating these issues, many healthcare professionals may be underinformed about IH and its management. Therefore, it is vitally important for people who have IH to self-advocate and to ensure that all of their healthcare providers pay special attention to managing their IH symptoms before, during, and after anesthesia or hospitalization.
Prepare an emergency care plan now to have ready in case of emergencies. When/if surgery or hospitalization is planned, this emergency plan will provide a head start to creating a custom care plan. Our new Anesthesia, Hospitalization and Emergency Planning content, conveniently located in our website’s Resources dropdown menu, has the tools needed to help create a care plan. It’s fully vetted by our Medical Advisory Board of experts and includes the following for materials for patients and healthcare providers to review together:
- A Guide to review, print and share
- A Care Plan fillable form for patients and healthcare providers to complete together
- FAQ Cards to print and share
As part of this process, it is a good idea to create or update a medical alert. Check out our Medical Alert Options, including two downloadable medical alert card versions, also conveniently located in our website’s Resources dropdown menu.
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 dependent on donations from people like you to help us fulfill our mission of improving the lives of people who have IH and related disorders.