My latest Sun column is about Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md-1) and his claim that the University System of Maryland should not mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 because of the risk of a side effect that, according to the CDC, occurs about 12 times in every 1 million doses. The column is available at this link.

Risk is in everything we do, especially medical procedures, and Harris, having a medical degree, should know this. He’s an anesthesiologist. I went to the Mayo Clinic online references and found this about risks from anesthesia:

General anesthesia is overall very safe; most people, even those with significant health conditions, are able to undergo general anesthesia itself without serious problems. In fact, your risk of complications is more closely related to the type of procedure you’re undergoing and your general physical health, rather than to the type of anesthesia. Older adults, or those with serious medical problems, particularly those undergoing more extensive procedures, may be at increased risk of postoperative confusion, pneumonia, or even stroke and heart attack. Specific conditions that can increase your risk of complications during surgery include:

  • Smoking
  • Seizures
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • Other medical conditions involving your heart, lungs or kidneys
  • Medications, such as aspirin, that can increase bleeding
  • History of heavy alcohol use
  • Drug allergies
  • History of adverse reactions to anesthesia

These risks are more generally related to the surgery itself rather than the anesthesia.

And that last statement from Mayo brings to mind what Dr. Jay Perman, chancellor of the University of Maryland told Harris: “At this point, the evidence indicates [myocarditis] is far more prevalent among those infected with the disease than among those vaccinated against it.”

5 thoughts on “Yes, Andy Harris, even anesthesia , your specialty, comes with risks

  1. Andy Harris had a choice. He could follow the science, follow his medical training, and help to save lives. He could instead pander to the unscientific crap promulgated on right wing talk shows and QAnon social media in an attempt to solidify his base. He made his choice.
    My hope is that the voters of his district choose life over death and misery, and elect someone else in 2022.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for this. Am sick and tired that Harris continues to use the term “medical doctor” (as does most of the media) yet no one ever explains he is only an anesthesiologist that happens to require an M.D. degree. M.D. does not mean you are an internist or even a primary care doctor. He is on the same level as the supposed “doctor Rand Paul”. Paul is an eye doctor, not an internist or primary care doctor (who, by the way, is not board certified) and the media never acknowledges that. I guess the next so-called doctor will be a vet. And Harris administering shots? As a layman with proper training, I can do that, too. Doesn’t make me a doctor..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you so much for this. You do a great job of maintaining your cool and being careful to point out the facts rather than engage in right-wing style hyperbole. I don’t have much hope for Harris’s constituents changing their tune, but it’s decent of you to provide them with honest information. It breaks my heart to see so much suffering as the anti-vaxxers get sick and die – especially the young folks. But the people I feel really sorry for are the health care workers who have to hold their hands when it’s too late for them to recover, all the while knowing that their patients think they’re making the whole thing up, or cashing in in some way. I’m glad I’m retired now, because I wouldn’t be able to handle it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t stop laughing about your Hippocratic-hypocrite comment that absolutely nails Andy Harris. I thank the heavens that I am just outside his district even though that means I can’t have the satisfaction of voting against him. Pick an issue, any issue, and Andy will be on the least humane, most oppressive side of it. If he thinks it’s bad, I can rest assured that it must be something that serves the greater good. Please continue showing Marylanders what a self-serving politician Andy always has been.

    Liked by 1 person

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