Anesthesiologist Warns of Fatal Dangers of Going Under

What Every Patient Should Know Before Surgery

NEWPORT BEACH, CA--(Marketwire - May 6, 2010) -  Dr. Barry Friedberg is on a crusade, and it has cost him dearly.

"A lot of people wake up from surgery not quite the same person they were before they went under because of the overuse of anesthetic drugs," said Dr. Friedberg, a board certified anesthesiologist who has been quoted in numerous medical journals and anesthesia textbooks . He has formed a not-for-profit foundation, called the Goldilocks Anesthesia Foundation, ( ) specifically to ask patients to request their anesthesiologists use a brain monitor during surgery. "When we watch a TV show like House or walk through a hospital, we just see a bunch of equipment and monitors, so most people figure that something as logical as a brain monitor would be in use when doctors use general anesthesia. But they aren't in widespread use at all, and many patients don't realize they can ask their anesthesiologist to use one. And they should if they want to stay alive and healthy."

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 53.3 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures are performed during 34.7 million ambulatory surgery visits each year.

"That's a lot of surgery, and a lot of people being put under general anesthesia without knowing all the risks," Dr. Friedberg said. "Without a brain monitor, anesthesiology is not an exact science. So most doctors figure it is better to give the patient more than they need in order to make sure they don't wake up during the operation. Of course, no one in the healthcare food chain is opposed to using more drugs, as that is a large part of the revenue stream. With a brain monitor, each patient becomes an open book test instead of a mystery to be solved. Doctors would be able to use a more exact dosage, use less drugs and be safer. Instead of using too little or too much, they'd use a dosage that is just right, hence my reference to Goldilocks with my foundation."

About Dr. Barry Friedberg

A native of southeastern Pennsylvania, Barry L. Friedberg, MD, came to Palo Alto, California in 1975 to complete his formal education with an anesthesia residency at Stanford University. Dr. Friedberg became a Board Certified (or Diplomate) Anesthesiologist in April 1980.

Contact Information:

Rachel Friedman