“The Anaesthetist is the Patient’s Guardian”
“The anaesthetist is the patient’s guardian”, highlighted Cristina Pestana, assistant coordinator of the Department of Anaesthesiology from Hospital da Luz Lisboa, in her participation as special guest in the TV show “Pura Vida”, at Saúde Mais channel, broadcasted on October 24. The anaesthetist also explained of what consists this specialty and what is the role of the anaesthetist, which is “not merely to put to sleep” not to feel pain: “we are prepared to be operated, to be cut open. There is a release of hormones and products with consequences to the heart and other organs. Despite this “aggression”, the anaesthetist has to keep them functioning, so that, once the surgery concluded, they all resume their former functioning and so that the problem treated is improved”.
Cristina Pestana, who throughout her professional life has dealt with over 70 thousand patients, referred that she makes sure to meet the patient before surgery (unless in urgent cases): “to meet the patient before and let him know that he can count on me, and that he can reach me in case of doubt about the intervention, is quite reassuring”. Reminding that to err is human, she explained why it is very important to keep that in mind: “one in 30 of our acts is wrong and what we must do, because we are dealing with a person’s life, is to minimize error”. Which starts by knowing the person in front of us and knowing all the equipment necessary to anaesthesiology, knowing how to use the most adequate technique and to monitor everything as best as possible. When things don’t go so well – accidents, incidents or complications –, “we must admit the error” before the patient.
The TV show included testimonies from patients and team colleagues, who expressed their respect and appreciation for Cristina Pestana’s work.