1. PROPOFOL. Propofol is an intravenous sedative-hypnotic, and the most commonly used general anesthetic medication in the United States. Because propofol can cause the patient to stop breathing, its use is restricted to physicians who are expert in the management of airway and breathing. Propofol has ultra-fast onset and offset times, usually causing sleep within seconds of injection. Because the drug is short-acting, it is often administered by a continuous intravenous drip or infusion When propofol is administered without other anesthetic drugs, the patient usually awakens within minutes of discontinuing the drug. Propofol does not relieve pain, and most painful surgeries require additional medication(s).
2. MIDAZOLAM (Brand name VERSED). Midazolam is a short-acting anxiety-reducing drug of the Valium or benzodiazepine class. Midazolam is commonly injected as the first drug to begin an anesthetic, because it gives patients a sense of calm, and often gives them amnesia for a period of minutes afterward. Midazolam is a common drug given during sedation for colonoscopy procedures, because most patients have no awareness during the procedure, even though they are usually awake.
3. NARCOTICS. Most surgical procedures cause pain, and narcotic drugs are intravenous pain-relievers. Commonly used narcotics are morphine, meperidine (brand name Demerol), fentanyl, and remifentanil. Narcotics have the desired effect of dulling the brain’s perception of pain. Narcotics cause sleepiness in higher doses, and have the common side-effect of nausea in some patients. Morphine and Demerol are slower-onset, longer-lasting narcotics, while fentanyl and remifentanil are faster-onset, shorter-acting narcotics.
4. PARALYZING DRUGS. Some surgeries and anesthetics require the patient to be paralyzed, i.e. muscles must be rendered flaccid so that the patient can not move. It is imperative that the patient be given adequate intravenous or inhaled anesthetic drugs first, so that the patient has no awareness that they can not move. Commone paralyzing drugs are vecuronium, rocuronium, pancuronium, and succinylcholine. Because paralyzing drugs cause the patient to stop breathing, their use is restricted to physicians who are expert in the management of airway and breathing. Paralyzing drugs are used by anesthesia providers prior to the placement a breathing tube (endotracheal tube) into the patient’s windpipe (trachea). Paralyzing drugs are used during certain surgical procedures in which the surgeon requires the patient’s muscles to be relaxed, for example, abdominal surgeries, some throat surgeries, and some surgeries inside the chest.
1. POTENT INHALED ANESTHETICS. Potent inhaled anesthetics include sevoflurane, isoflurane, and desflurane. These drugs are liquids, administered via anesthesia vaporizers than turn them into inhaled gases. They are usually administered in low concentrations (1% to 4% for sevoflurane, 1% to 2% for isoflurane, and 3% to 6% for desflurane), because sustained higher concentrations fo these drugs cause life-threatening depression of heart and breathing functions. Because potent inhaled anesthetics can cause patients to stop breathing, their use is restricted to physicians who are expert in the management of airway and breathing.
2. NITROUS OXIDE. Nitrous oxide is a relatively weak inhaled anesthetic drug, usually administered in concentrations of 50% to 70%. At these doses, nitrous oxide does cause significant sleepiness, but will not render the patient unconscious. Nitrous oxide has the advantage of being a quick-onset, quick-offset drug, and it is non-expensive. Because every patient must inhale a minimum of 21% oxygen, the maximum dose of nitrous oxide is 100 – 21, or 79%. As a measure of safety, oxygen is usually administered at concentration of at least 30%, which is the reason why administered nitrous oxide concentrations rarely exceed 70%.
1. LIDOCAINE. Lidocaine is injected into tissue to block pain at that site. The onset of local anesthesia occurs within seconds, and the duration is short, usually less than one hour. Lidocaine can be injected into the back during either a spinal anesthetic or an epidural anesthetic, to numb part of the patient’s body without causing unconsciousness. Lidocaine can also be injected near major nerves, in what is called a nerve block. Nerve blocks include injections to numb one arm, one leg, the hand, or the foot.
2. PROCAINE (Brand name Novocaine). Although the term Novocaine is commonly heard, use of this drug has been largely abandoned, replaced by lidocaine instead.
3. BUPIVICAINE (Brand name Marcaine). Bupivicaine is injected into tissue to block pain at that site. The onset of local anesthesia occurs within minutes, and the duration is longer than lidocaine, usually from 2 – 6 hours, depending on the location of the injection. Bupivicaine can be injected into the back during either a spinal anesthetic or an epidural anesthetic, to numb part of the patient’s body without causing unconsciousness. Bupivicaine can also be injected near major nerves, in what is called a nerve block. Nerve blocks include injections to numb one arm, one leg, the hand, or the foot.
Introducing …, THE DOCTOR AND MR. DYLAN, Dr. Novak’s debut novel, a legal mystery. Publication date September 9, 2014 by Pegasus Books.
On October 2, 2014 THE DOCTOR AND MR. DYLAN became the world’s #1 bestselling anesthesia Kindle book on Amazon.com.
The first four chapters are available for free at Amazon. Read them and you’ll be hooked! To reach the Amazon webpage, click on the book image below:
In this debut thriller, tragedies strike an anesthesiologist as he tries to start a new life with his son.
Dr. Nico Antone, an anesthesiologist at Stanford University, is married to Alexandra, a high-powered real estate agent obsessed with money. Their son, Johnny, an 11th-grader with immense potential, struggles to get the grades he’ll need to attend an Ivy League college. After a screaming match with Alexandra, Nico moves himself and Johnny from Palo Alto, California, to his frozen childhood home of Hibbing, Minnesota. The move should help Johnny improve his grades and thus seem more attractive to universities, but Nico loves the freedom from his wife, too. Hibbing also happens to be the hometown of music icon Bob Dylan. Joining the hospital staff, Nico runs afoul of a grouchy nurse anesthetist calling himself Bobby Dylan, who plays Dylan songs twice a week in a bar called Heaven’s Door. As Nico and Johnny settle in, their lives turn around; they even start dating the gorgeous mother/daughter pair of Lena and Echo Johnson. However, when Johnny accidentally impregnates Echo, the lives of the Hibbing transplants start to implode. In true page-turner fashion, first-time novelist Novak gets started by killing soulless Alexandra, which accelerates the downfall of his underdog protagonist now accused of murder. Dialogue is pitch-perfect, and the insults hurled between Nico and his wife are as hilarious as they are hurtful: “Are you my husband, Nico? Or my dependent?” The author’s medical expertise proves central to the plot, and there are a few grisly moments, as when “dark blood percolated” from a patient’s nostrils “like coffee grounds.” Bob Dylan details add quirkiness to what might otherwise be a chilly revenge tale; we’re told, for instance, that Dylan taught “every singer with a less-than-perfect voice…how to sneer and twist off syllables.” Courtroom scenes toward the end crackle with energy, though one scene involving a snowmobile ties up a certain plot thread too neatly. By the end, Nico has rolled with a great many punches.
Nuanced characterization and crafty details help this debut soar.
Bang-Up Debut Novel, November 16, 2014
By Norm Goldman “Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures”
This part legal and medical thriller is structured with a mixed bag of situations involving relationships, jealousy, evil, lies, courtroom drama, operating room mishaps as well as moments that engender conflicting and unexpected outcomes. Noteworthy is that as the suspense builds readers will become eager to uncover the truth involving a mishap concerning Nico and a surgical procedure that has unanticipated ramifications.
This is a bang-up debut from a writer who understands timing and is able to deliver hairpin turns, particularly involving the courtroom drama,that you would expect from a book of this genre.
TwinCities.com PIONEER PRESS Entertainment
by Mary Ann Grossman, Entertainment Editor, St. Paul Pioneer Press firstname.lastname@example.org, January 4, 2015
“The Doctor & Mr. Dylan” by Rick Novak (Pegasus Books, $17.50)
Dr. Nico Antone doesn’t hide the fact he hates his wife, but he says he didn’t kill her during an operation. The authorities think otherwise and his trial is the riveting suspense in this novel that is part medical thriller, part legal thriller, part exploration of family relationships.
Nico is an anesthesiologist (as is the author) who leaves his wife, their plush life in California and his job at Stanford to move to his hometown of Hibbing so their son, Johnny, has a better chance of getting into a prestigious college. Johnny hates the idea of moving to a small, cold town, but he’s popular from the first day in school. Nico doesn’t do so well. He’s envied by Bobby, an anesthetist who’s jealous of the better-educated Nico. But it’s hard to take Bobby seriously, since he thinks he’s the young Bob Dylan and lives in the house where Bobby Zimmerman grew up. To complicate matters, Nico is attracted to the mother of the young woman his son is dating. When the two teens get in trouble, Nico’s furious, rich wife comes to Minnesota and needs an emergency operation that puts her on Nico’s operating table.
Novak grew up in Hibbing, where he worked in the iron ore mines and played on the U.S. Junior Men’s Curling championship teams of 1974 and ’75. After graduating from Carleton College, he earned a medical degree at the University of Chicago and spent 30-plus years at Stanford Hospital, where he was an associate professor of anesthesia and Deputy Chief of the Anesthesia Department. His courtroom scenes are based on his experiences as an expert witness.
The Physician’s Late-Night Reading List
Two Pritzker alums pen captivating tales
By Brooke E. O’Neill, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, editir, Medicine on the Midway Magazine
For most physicians, writing — patient notes, case histories, perhaps journal articles — is part of the job. But for anesthesiologist-novelist Rick Novak, MD’80, and neurosurgeon-memoirist Moris Senegor, MD’82, it’s a second career that consumes early morning hours long before they step into the OR.
Fans of John Grisham will find a kindred spirit in Novak, whose fast-paced medical thriller, The Doctor & Mr. Dylan (Pegasus Books, 2014), transports readers to rural Northern Minnesota, where an accomplished physician and a deranged anesthetist who thinks he’s rock legend Bob Dylan see their worlds collide in the most unexpected ways.
Delivering real-life twists and turns — and a love letter to the Bay Area — is Senegor’s Dogmeat: A Memoir of Love and Neurosurgery in San Francisco (Xlibris, 2014), a coming-of-age tale chronicling the author’s away rotation with renowned neurosurgeon Charles Wilson, MD, at the University of California, San Francisco. Brutally honest, it spares no details of a time Senegor, who also served as a resident under the University of Chicago’s famed neurosurgery chair Sean Mullan, MD, describes as “one of the biggest failures of my life.”
One a vividly imagined nail-biter, the other an intimate peek into the surgical suite, both books deliver an ample dose of intensity and drama.
The Doctor and Mr. Dylan (Pegasus Books, 2014) by Rick Novak, MD’80
“I thought it was a novel way of killing someone,” said Rick Novak, deputy chief of anesthesiology at Stanford University, describing the imagined hospital death that was the genesis of his dark thriller The Doctor & Mr. Dylan. A huge Bob Dylan fan — the rock icon was born in Novak’s hometown of Hibbing, Minnesota, where the story takes place — he then dreamed up a possible culprit: a psychotic anesthetist who thinks he’s Dylan.
From there, the words flowed. “I would write whenever I was with my laptop and had a free moment: in mornings, in evenings, in gaps between cases,” said Novak, who also blogs about anesthesia topics. “I don’t sleep much.”
After finishing the manuscript — one year to write, another to edit — came the challenge of finding a publisher. “In anesthesia, I’m an expert,” Novak said. “In the literary world, I’m an unknown.” After 207 responses of “no, thanks” or no answer at all, he landed an agent. Two months later, she informed him that Pegasus Books had bought his debut novel.
“I started crying,” Novak admits. “I have a third grader and at the time the big word the class was learning was ‘perseverance.’ That was it exactly.”
Dr. Joseph Andresen, Editor, Santa Clara County Medical Association Medical Bulletin, from the January/February 2015 issue:
BOOK REVIEW “THE DOCTOR AND MR. DYLAN”
This past month, Dr. Rick Novak handed me a hardbound copy of his debut novel The Doctor and Mr. Dylan. Rick and I go way back. It was my first week of residency at Stanford when we first met. A newcomer to the operating room, all the smells and sounds were foreign to me despite my previous three years in the hospital as an internal medicine resident. Rick, a soft spoken Minnesotan at heart, in his second year of residency, took me under his wing and guided me through those first few bewildering months, sharing his experience and wisdom freely.
Fast-forward 30 years later. Dr. Rick Novak, a novel and mystery author? This was new to me as I sat down and opened the first page of The Doctor and Mr. Dylan. I have to admit that I didn’t know what to expect. Few books highlight a physician/anesthesiologist as a protagonist, and few books feature a SCCMA member as a physician/author. However, a medical-mystery theme novel wasn’t at the top of my must read list. With my 50-hour workweek, living and breathing medicine, imagining more emotional stress and drama was the furthest thing from my mind. However, three days later, as I turned the last page, and read the last few words. “life is a series of choices. I stuck my forefinger into the crook of the steering wheel, spun it hard to the left and …” This completed my 72-hour journey of and free moments I had, completely immersed in this story of life’s disappointments, human imperfections, and simple joys.
Rick, I can’t wait for your next book. Bravo!
From the author, Dr. Rick Novak:
Stanford professor Dr. Nico Antone leaves the wife he hates and the job he loves to return to Hibbing, where he spent his childhood. He believes his son’s best chance to get accepted into a prestigious college is to graduate at the top of his class in a small Midwestern town with an exceptional high school. His son becomes a small town hero and academic star, while Dr. Antone befriends Bobby Dylan, a deranged nurse anesthetist who renamed and reinvented himself as a younger version of the iconic rock legend who grew up in Hibbing. An operating room death rocks their world, and Dr. Antone’s family and his relationship to Mr. Dylan are forever changed.
The Doctor and Mr. Dylan examines the dark side of relationships between a doctor and his wife, a father and his son, and a man and his best friend. Set in a rural Northern Minnesota world reminiscent of the Coen brothers’ Fargo, The Doctor and Mr. Dylan details scenes of family crises, operating room mishaps, and courtroom confrontation, and concludes in a series of twists that will keep readers guessing.
The book brings the issue of CRNA independent practice to a national audience, and this conflict drives the plot. Most of all, The Doctor and Mr. Dylan is a page-turning mystery, guaranteed to keep readers riveted until the final page.
Hibbingite writes twisted medical tale
HIBBING — Readers who are looking for a whodunit that will keep them up all night are in for a treat.
Hibbing native Rick Novak recently released his first book “The Doctor and Mr. Dylan,” a fiction set in Hibbing that merges anesthesia complications, a tumultuous marriage and the legend of Bob Dylan.
“The dialogue is sometimes funny, and there are lots of plot twists,” he said.
Novak said the book will not only entertain readers, but teach them about anesthesiology, Dylanology, the stressful race for elite college admission, and life on the Iron Range.
“The book is very conversational and streamlined,” he said. “I try to write as one would tell a story out loud.”
Novak said “The Doctor and Mr. Dylan” took him three years to perfect. He is currently working on his second book.
This review is from: The Doctor and Mr. Dylan (Kindle Edition)
Just finished Dr. Novak’s delightful novel. I sincerely enjoyed his honest take about the pressures and values that exist within California’s Silicon Valley. He also brought the North Country of Minnesota to life with memorable characters and a twisting, addictive plot. Buried beneath the fun and funny story is a deeper message about how to best care for your kids, your relationships and yourself. Very well written and highly recommended.
Learn more about Rick Novak’s fiction writing at rick novak.com by clicking on the picture below: