In the pre-operative assessment interview, patients should let their anesthesia professional know if they have been in an area where there is a risk of contracting Lyme disease, such as hiking areas where ticks are present. Patients who know they have Lyme disease should discuss the choice of anesthetic with their anesthesia provider.
Patients with “systemic infections” (those that affect the entire body) such as Lyme disease may need to be cautious with spinal or epidural anesthesia, as they may introduce infective agents into the central nervous system. This can be especially important in the early stages of the disease when there may not yet be signs of central nervous system involvement.
Since 2005, 20,000-30,000 confirmed infections are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention each year. (NB the incidence has risen to 380,000 each years after 2013)
Of the diseases required by law to be reported to government authorities, Lyme disease is the fifth most common nationally. Lyme disease is also the most commonly reported infection transferred from one living organism to another in the U.S.