THE Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists and the College of Anaesthesiologists at the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia strongly refute the misleading message circulating on social media about adverse reactions to anaesthesia in individuals who have received the Covid-19 vaccine.
To date, there is no scientific evidence to validate this misinformation. Allowing such misstatements to propagate may impact many vulnerable individuals awaiting anaesthesia for surgical procedures and their inclination to be vaccinated. Hence the need for us to address this with urgency.
We may consider asking patients to defer elective, non-urgent surgeries if they are recently vaccinated not because of interactions with anaesthesia but mainly to confer the full benefit of the two doses of vaccine to protect the individual from Covid-19 when the patient comes to the hospital. Additionally, patients may present with post-vaccination related symptoms such as muscle pain or fever which may extend through the perioperative period. Deferment here is to ensure that the side effects of the vaccine are not confused with other side effects related to the operative procedure.
If the surgery is an emergency, recent vaccination should not be a reason to defer surgery.
There are guidelines on rescheduling elective surgeries for patients who are Covid-19 positive and recovering, which is a different issue altogether. These established guidelines allow for maximal recovery after a Covid-19 infection taking into account the severity of the infection.
We encourage patients to seek expert advice from their healthcare professionals who will be able to provide detailed explanations on this matter.
PROF DR MARZIDA MANSOR & DATUK DR JAHIZAH HASSAN
Dr Marzida is the president of the Malaysian Society of Anaesthesiologists and Dr Jahizah is the president of the College of Anaesthesiologists, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia.