Why Can’t I Take a Cab Home After My Outpatient Surgery?
Published on April 12, 2018 by Andrew Barnett
With most of my outpatient surgeries, patients receive either sedation anesthesia or general anesthesia. While I also use local anesthesia during your procedure, sedation or general anesthesia reduces anxiety and pain. Patients who have sedation may have some awareness of the surgery, while those under general anesthesia have none. With both procedures, after the surgery patients will be somewhat groggy for a period of hours. Usually, the mental grogginess clears by the next day and patients feel more like themselves.
Because of the grogginess that occurs after either anesthesia type, patients should not operate dangerous machinery, nor should they drive until the following day at a minimum. I don’t want them to injure themselves or anyone else!
Also, because of the grogginess, I am not comfortable allowing my patients to go home in a cab with a stranger. Patients accompanied by a friend or family member can take a cab home since they will not be alone. Likewise, patients leaving with a hired nurse can also take a cab. Patients in a cab alone with an unknown person (the cab or Uber/Lyft driver) is not acceptable. A driver may not show the appropriate concern for a rider’s well being, and could, potentially, take advantage of someone’s slightly unclear mental state. As a general rule – the hospitals and surgery centers that I work with have rules requiring patients to be accompanied by friend or family member, for the same reasons.
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Dr. Barnett’s Final Advice
For the safety and protection of all of our patients, we will not release you to a cab or Uber/Lyft driver after surgery, unless you have a friend or family member to accompany you.
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