Monday, August 10, 2015


There are many things that scare the living shit out of me. Amongst them are:
  • the sea
  • lightning that strikes within 100 meters
  • scutigère véloce crawling up my neck while I'm playing Dead Planet
  • randomly walking into my ex

God hates a coward

These are pretty common fears and I dont think I would be mistaken to assume that I share them with many people. Although there is one terror that people tend to underrate. I'd bet most people never really imagined it could happen to them. I'd also bet 'most people' never even heard of it.

You see, when one goes to have surgery, one usually gets general anaesthesia. This means the anesthesiologist injects a compound of different drugs that aim for 3 main effects.

First they need to get you unconscious, for obvious reasons. Then they need to paralyse you so your muscles dont react to stimuli. And then they need to get your nervous system to stop what its doing, as an extra measure of precaution, so no stimuli are ever sent to your muscles.

The thing is, according to this particularly interesting paper that came out last year, sometimes, these drugs, they fail to work properly.

I initially wanted to post beautiful pictures of real surgery from the album art of Delirium Cordia but then I remembered how the goddamn cocksucking censors removed all of my previous pictures from the blog so here

Now its easy to imagine the possible combinations of failure:

Let C = anti-consciousness drug, P = paralysis drug (they're using curare derivatives for this one I believe) and N = nerve blocking drug.

If any of these fail on its own, things dont go so bad. As they describe in the article, since it usually happens to obese people, fattie gets to be sad for a few years. So a C failure makes you conscious, but you cant move and you cant feel. I appreciate how unpleasant this must be, especially if you hear them call out for Dr. James C. Burt. If P or N fails, it doesnt really matter neither because either your muscles cant react to stimuli or there are no stimuli for them to react to, and you're unconscious.

Things get a bit creepy when two of those drugs simultaneously fail. In a C-P failure, you wake up and you can move to see your entrails spilled all over the operating table. Of course, even though you still can't feel anything, I imagine very few people would be able to keep their calm and remain motionless until everything's wrapped up. Actually I believe only Mr Spock could muster this much rational strength, but he never woke up from his surgery. If P and N fail, although you're still unconscious, it could still get messy as your muscles could have catastrophic reflex induced contractions which could potentially create some pretty messy complications.

I would classify the last combination, C-N, up there with the full C-P-N failure because that's where true horror begins. Actually, I can't decide which one is worse between a C-N and the full C-P-N failure. I know C-P-N is bad because I would probably start running from the table while throwing my liver at the surgeon, but C-N is the equivalent of the worst form of torture. You know, that kind of torture...

1 comment:

Barbarosa said...

Ah, good old torture via cerebromeddulospinal disconnection.