Anaesthesia

Anaesthesia

The word anaesthesia is coined from two Greek words: "an" meaning "without" and "aesthesis" meaning "sensation". There are various types of anaesthesia. Throughout their lives, most people will undergo anaesthesia either during the birth of their baby or for a surgical procedure, which could range from relatively short, simple surgery on a day-stay basis through to major surgery requiring complex, rapid decisions to keep them safe. Many of today’s operations are made possible as a result of developments in anaesthesia and training of specialist anaesthetists. 

Patients having anaesthesia will have an anaesthetist with them all the way from the preoperative assessment of their medical conditions and planning of their medical care, to closely monitoring their health and wellbeing throughout their procedure to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery. 

Relief of pain and suffering is central to the practice of anaesthesia. Despite an increase in the complexity of surgical operations, modern anaesthesia is relatively safe due to high standards of training that emphasize quality and safety.

Types of Anaesthetic Given

Procedural Sedation

Procedural sedation is used for procedures where general anaesthesia is not required and allows patients to tolerate procedures that would otherwise be uncomfortable or painful. It may be associated with a lack of memory of any distressing events.

Conscious Sedation

Conscious sedation is defined as a medication-induced state that reduces the patient’s level of consciousness during which the patient can respond purposefully to verbal commands or light stimulation by touch.

Regional Anaesthesia

Regional anaesthesia is an umbrella term used to describe nerve blocks, epidural blocks pain relief and having a baby and spinal blocks. Regional anaesthesia involves the injection of local anaesthetic in the vicinity of major nerve bundles supplying body areas, such as the thigh, ankle, forearm, hand or shoulder.

General Anaesthesia

General anaesthesia produces a drug-induced state where the patient will not respond to any stimuli, including pain. It may be associated with changes in breathing and circulation.