Anaesthesia is a controlled loss of sensation and awareness induced for medical purposes. It can cause various symptoms, including analgesia, amnesia, unconsciousness, and paralysis. An anaesthetized person is referred to as a patient. There are two basic types of anaesthesia: General anesthesia and regional anaesthesia.
General anesthesia is a medically-induced state of unconsciousness. It is produced by administering a general anaesthetic drug and often involves an analgesic and neuromuscular blocking agent. Anaesthetic drugs help patients to remain unconscious during surgery. This type of anaesthesia can be lifesaving for many patients.
Patients who are too weak or elderly may not be good candidates for general anesthesia. This is a delicate balance anesthesiologists must achieve. General anaesthesia should not shut down the body completely, but weak patients may need more time to recover before returning to a standard, awake state.
Regional anaesthesia is a medical technique in which a local anaesthetic is injected into the area of surgery. It is also referred to as a spinal block, subarachnoid block, or intrathecal block. It is neuraxial regional anaesthesia in which a local anaesthetic or opioid is injected into a specific area, usually the subarachnoid space. This anaesthetic is usually injected using a fine needle.
Regional anesthesia is a relatively safe and effective surgical procedure. However, patients should be monitored for their heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen level during the surgery. Supplemental oxygen may be administered if needed.
A doctor can give epidural anaesthesia to a patient to numb the back area during a procedure. The procedure involves inserting a needle through the skin to the epidural space. Once the epidural space is numbed, a small tube called a catheter will be inserted through the needle. The catheter will be left in the epidural space, where it will provide medication via injections or continuous infusion. The catheter will then be taped to prevent it from slipping out.
Epidural anaesthesia is a technique used to help patients undergo surgical procedures. Anaesthetic drugs are injected into the epidural space, which extends from the foramen magnum to the sacral hiatus. The anaesthetic agent diffuses through the dura to act on the spinal nerve roots and other paravertebral nerves. There are different types of anaesthetic drugs and techniques, depending on the location and the type of surgery.
Local anaesthesia is a technique that involves numbing a specific part of the body. It is often used for local analgesia or induction of local insensitivity to pain. It is a very effective tool for performing some medical procedures. However, it is not suitable for every patient.
Although local anaesthesia is safe for most patients, it does carry some risks. The central nervous system can become depressed, and the heart and breathing rates can be dangerously low. A patient can also develop an allergic reaction to the drug, which may lead to hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. More severe cases of an allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, can even result in seizures. While local anaesthesia is generally safe, discussing any potential risks and benefits with your doctor is essential.