USA TODAY – The George Mason University baseball team is mourning the loss of student-athlete Sang Ho Baek.
The 20-year-old freshman died unexpectedly from complications following a Tommy John elbow surgery, a common procedure for baseball pitchers.
“Sang was an incredible teammate who was loved by everyone associated with Mason baseball,” said Patriots head coach Bill Brown in a statement. “He will be missed and forever cherished in our hearts. Right now, our thoughts are with Sang’s family at the unbearably difficult time.”
Baek had recently completed his first season with the Patriots. He appeared in seven games, making his collegiate debut against UMBC on March 12.
Tommy John surgery is used to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The procedure is becoming more common among young pitchers due to the stress pitching puts on the elbow.
Like most surgeries, there are risks of infection or issues related to anesthesia that come with Tommy John surgery. Typically though, it is a routine procedure with a high success rate after a lengthy rehabilitation process … Click here to read more.
Some specific complications of general anaesthesia
PATIENT.INFO – Anaphylaxis can occur to any anaesthetic agent and in all types of anaesthesia. The severity of the reaction may vary but features may include rash, urticaria, bronchospasm, hypotension, angio-oedema, and vomiting. It needs to be carefully looked for in the pre-operative assessment and previous general anaesthetic charts may help.
Patients who are suspected of an allergic reaction should be referred for further investigation to try to determine the exact cause. If necessary, this may involve provocation testing or skin prick testing and patients should be referred to local immunologists.
Anaphylaxis needs to be promptly recognised and managed and patients should be advised to wear a medical emergency identification bracelet or similar once they recover.
A reduced level of consciousness can lead to an unprotected airway. If the patient vomits they can aspirate the vomitus contents into their lungs. This can set up lung inflammation with infection. The risk of aspiration pneumonitis and aspiration pneumonia is reduced by fasting for several hours prior to the procedure and cricoid cartilage pressure during induction of anaesthesia.
However, the evidence for the use of cricoid pressure is not clearly documented and further investigation is required.
Other methods of reducing aspiration pneumonitis associated with anaesthesia are the use of metoclopramide to enhance gastric emptying and ranitidine or proton pump inhibitors to increase the pH of gastric contents.
Aspiration pneumonitis may also occur in spinal anaesthesia if the level of spinal block is too high, leading to paralysis or impairment of the vocal cords and respiratory impairment … Click here to learn more.