Anytime you get general anesthesia, there's a chance you won't wake up. That chance is fairly small - about six out of every million cases these days, but there are ways to protect yourself. Here's what you need to know about anesthesia, according to Dr. David Sherer who wrote the book, The Hospital Survival Guide. We found this in the Bottom Line Personal:* First, you have to tell the surgeon and the anesthesiologist if you're taking any supplements. They can be lethal when combined with anesthesia. For instance, Ginkgo. It can elevate your blood pressure - and some anesthesia has the same effect. That can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack. Garlic supplements can thin the blood, increasing your risk of excessive bleeding during regional anesthesia.* Also, snoring is a danger sign. Patients who snore during sleep may have sleep apnea - a condition in which breathing can stop, up to 30 times an hour. If you have anesthesia, the diminished airflow can increase risks of brain damage and death. So always tell your doctors if you're a snorer.* Here's something you need to ask before you make your surgical appointment. Ask if they have dantrolene on hand. It's the only drug that can reverse an anesthesia related complication in which your body temperature rises and your organ systems can breakdown. This occurs in one out of every 65,000 patients, and without treatment, it's fatal 80% of the time. When dantrolene is administered, the death rate is less than 10%. Hospitals are required to stock it - but some outpatient facilities might not. So don't get general anesthesia unless you know they have it on hand.* Lastly - always make sure the anesthesiologist is board certified. A lot of hospitals outsource anesthesiology, so the person putting you under, might not even be a hospital employee. To make sure you're getting the best care, make sure they're a board certified medical doctor who is trained in anesthesia. Also ask if they'll be monitoring you throughout the procedure and if they'll be on call in the recovery room. To find out on your own if someone is board certified, go to TheABA.org.