Music calmed nervous pre-op patients just as well as drugs in a new study

Mail Online | 7/18/2019 | Natalie Rahhal Deputy Health Editor For Dailymail.com
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Music may be as effective as sedative drugs at calming nervous patients before surgery, a new study suggests.

Many operations can be done painlessly and while the patient is awake with a nerve block, but the injection to block pain signals can be slightly painful and anxiety-inducing for some.

Drugs - Midazolam - Patients - Class - Drugs

Sedative drugs like midazolam are often used to soothe these patients, but this class of drugs, benzodiazepines, can interfere with breathing and blood flow and can actually cause hallucinations and hostility.

Plus, benzodiazepines are addictive schedule IV drugs.

University - Pennsylvania - Trial - Music - Sounds

Instead, a University of Pennsylvania trial found that relaxing music - specifically, the soothing sounds of Marconi Union's Weightless - reduced patients' anxiety levels as well the drugs did, although the patients were less 'satisfied' with the experience.

Pre-surgery anxiety is understandable, and common, affecting more than half of patients ,but nervousness can actually make the operation itself more dangerous.

Anxiety - System - Gear - Prone - Blood

Anxiety kicks the nervous system into high gear, which makes us more prone to high blood pressure, constricting blood vessels, heart arrhythmia and higher body temperature, which can lead to higher complication risks in surgery.

Previous studies have also shown that patients who are anxious before a surgery - however minor - begins may have a harder road to recovery.

Fix - Anesthesiologists - Surgeons - Patient - Pill

The go-to fix for most anesthesiologists and surgeons has long been to give a patient a pill or IV benzodiazepine (or benzo) a highly effective class of sedatives.

These drugs work fast by amplifying the effects of a neurotransmitter called GABA, which slows down other fast-talking neurotransmitters in over-active, anxious brains.

Neurotransmitters - Brain - Activity - Tranquilizing - Effect

Quieting these neurotransmitters and slowing down the brain's anxious activity for a quick tranquilizing effect.

But sometimes benzos backfire, causing agitation, aggression anxiety and irritability.

Effect - Heart - Rate

And even when they work as they should, the sedative effect depresses breathing and heart rate, which...
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