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A 35-year-old male asked:

if patient vomits during propofol induction means is not unconscious?

5 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Keller
Internal Medicine 29 years experience
Call 911 stat: Emesis while under anesthesia can lead to massive aspiration. This patient is at risk for chemical pneumonitis due to aspiration of gastric acid, also aspiration pneumonia. The patient could develop sepsis or even ARDS very quickly, and should be admitted to the hospital stat to rule out aspiration.
Dr. Anthony Pollizzi
Anesthesiology 36 years experience
No: You may vomit while under Propofol anesthesia and still be unconscious.
Dr. Rita Agarwal
Anesthesiology 35 years experience
Not necessarily: Consciousness is a spectrum that is not necessarily related to emesis. The patient may be have been unconscious and a reflex caused the vomiting. Hope the patient is OK
Dr. Vivek Iyer
Specializes in Anesthesiology
Vomiting happens: Vomiting is an in voluntary action. It is not a sign of consciousness. Anybody who receives propofol, is at risk of vomiting. This is why your anesthesiologist requires you to have eaten nothing after midnight. The less food in your stomach and the less your stomach acid is stimulated, the higher likelihood you have of being safe.
Dr. Samuel Smith
Anesthesiology 21 years experience
Not necessarily: Assuming this was induction of general anesthesia, it could be early in the induction , before patient becomes unconscious ......or after most of full dose was given and unconscious....,in either case, propofol (like any anesthetic) can render a person unconscious but still able to have muscular tone and reflexes allowing them to vomit ( although it more commonly a risk under light anesthesia)

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Last updated Oct 20, 2017
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