“Smartpen” could monitor patients’ anesthetic levels during surgery | New Atlas

Everyone responds to general anesthetics differently, which can make administering the correct dose tricky. A new device is designed to help, by continuously monitoring anesthetic levels in patients’ bloodstreams during surgical procedures.

Ordinarily, anesthesiologists base initial dosages on factors such as age, weight and gender.

One thing that they don’t know ahead of time, however, is how much of the drug will end up actually circulating within an individual patient’s bloodstream. For this reason, they may end up administering supplemental doses of the anesthetic during the operation, in order to keep the patient asleep and unaware. For safety reasons, though, they should still be using as little of the drug as possible.

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