Anesthesia Flashcards, test questions and answers
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What is Anesthesia?
Anesthesia, also known as anaesthesia, is the process of blocking pain and other sensations in order to allow medical procedures to be performed without causing discomfort or distress. Anesthesiologists are specialised doctors who administer anesthetics and monitor patients undergoing surgery. Anesthesia has been around since ancient times when people used a variety of methods such as herbal remedies, alcohol, and opium to dull pain during operations. Today, anesthesia is one of the most important components in modern medicine allowing for safe and efficient surgical procedures that would otherwise not be possible without it. Anaesthesia can generally be divided into two main types general anaesthesia (GA) which causes total unconsciousness; and regional anaesthesia (RA) which numbs only certain parts of the body while leaving others conscious or responsive. GA involves administering drugs intravenously or through inhalation while RA relies on injections directly into nerves supplying sensation to the area being operated on. Today both forms are widely used in combination with each other depending on the type of procedure being carried out. The risks associated with anesthesia are minimal but they must always be taken into consideration before any procedure is undertaken – this includes monitoring vital signs before, during and after surgery as well assessing patient history prior to administration. For those at risk from complications due to age or health conditions alternative options may need to be explored such as non-invasive treatments or lifestyle changes instead of surgery itself.