Ep 174: Anesthesia Practice Considerations When Dealing with a Methamphetamine Patient

With the rise in methamphetamine use across the country, CRNAs need to be prepared to provide anesthesia to a substance use disorder patient. Jenny Krogh, CRNA, has noticed several misconceptions and conflicting management of patients who have used methamphetamines through her time working and researching. Today she joins us to explain the effects of methamphetamines on the body and clarifies some of the inaccuracies. 

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

You don’t have to work in healthcare to know the impact that methamphetamines have had on our country. The use of the drug is one the rise and likely under-reported because of its criminal nature, and it makes up a significant portion of the Substance Use Disorders (SUD) that have been diagnosed.

This increase in methamphetamines means that many CRNAs will likely face a situation where they have to provide anesthesia on a substance use disorder patient. Jenny Krogh, CRNA, has seen it first hand through the work she’s performed and the researched she’s done. Today she joins us to share her insight and experience, and she’ll help clarify some of the misconceptions around methamphetamine.

Check out the full conversation using the audio player above. As you get started on the episode, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • The rise in methamphetamines and her experience seeing it in hospitals.
  • The changes that happen in a person’s neurochemistry.
  • What leads someone to chasing this high?
  • How methamphetamines change anesthesia.
  • What can you do to treat hypertension?
  • How she’s treated a laboring patient who has used methamphetamines.
  • What she’s learned through her research and how people can access it.
  • Her algorithm

Check it out the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

2:39 – Introducing our guest

5:28 – Why we are talking about this

7:14 – The use of meth in patients

8:52 –  Why words are important

10:21 – Neurochemistry

14:39 – Chasing the high

17:59 – How meth use changes anesthesia

20:44 – Treating hypertension 

23:01 – How it affects work in the OB

28:09 – Use of Ketamine

30:20 – Her research

34:04 – Final thoughts

37:21 – Lightning Round 

Additional Resources:

See the Methamphetamine Algorithm

Read the research Jenny did on the topic


“Methamphetamine is days sometimes where their brain is still lit up. This is why you’ll see patients that have used methamphetamines, they haven’t slept for maybe two or three days, they’re just amped up and ready to go. Then they crash and they crash hard.”

-Jenny Krogh, CRNA

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