Healthcare is a booming industry and the profession of Anaesthetists is in rapid growth. Anaesthetists administer Anaesthesia, which is a state of insensitivity to pain caused by the administration of certain drugs called anaesthetics. Anaesthesia is required during painful medical procedures as it relaxes the patients and numbs them enough to even render them unconscious, so they don’t feel pain or discomfort of any kind. This article will explain the four kinds of Anaesthesia administered to patients during various medical procedures.
This is the most commonly known type of Anaesthesia. People even get a misconception from media like books, movies and medical dramas that every time the word Anaesthesia is used, it means General Anaesthesia. However, that is not the case. It works on the entire body not only a specific region, causing the patient to experience temporary loss of consciousness. Every major invasive and time-consuming surgical procedure requires the patient to be unconscious so that they don’t feel any pain.
The effects of this anaesthesia can last for hours. A patient cannot be woken up from this state and only regains consciousness when its effect wears off. When the patient is awake, they can experience drowsiness and it is the job of the Anaesthetist to help them recover from it. General Anaesthesia can be given either through IV or masks which release vapours or gases for the patient to inhale. Aside from drowsiness, people can suffer from nausea or dry-throat.
It is a type of Anaesthesia that is used to numb and relax the muscles of a large region of the patient’s body so the nerves in that area stop sending sensory signals to the brain for the amount of time that the effect of the drug lasts. This results in insensitivity to pain in that region. Regional Anaesthesia is used during various types of medical procedures in different forms. During childbirth and Caesarian section (C-Section), it is given as an epidural. A Spinal is given during surgeries like that of a knee or hip. For the surgery of a hand, an arm block is administered.
Anaesthesia that creates numbness and blocks the pain in a small part of the body is called Local Anaesthesia. It can be applied in the form of a cream or injected into the skin of that region. Minor medical procedures can often be done painlessly with this Anaesthesia. This type of anaesthesia is used for dental procedures, cataract surgeries, and minor skin operations.
Sedation is monitored anaesthesia care, also called “twilight” by most people. It is a process where medicinal drugs are administered to the patient to induce light sleep or a sleep-like state which borders on unconsciousness. The patient under mild sedation remains awake and is able to understand instructions or questions and respond to them.
Moderate sedation can make them drowsy and unable to form fully coherent sentences, it might even cause light sleep, as previously mentioned. Deep sedation can cause deep sleep. The patients can be awoken and do not have to go through any recovery period from the Anaesthesia. Procedures that cannot be done with Regional or Local anaesthesia and do not require General anaesthesia can be done with Sedation.
By now, it must be clear how many types of Anaesthesia can be given to patients and what are they, along with their effects, administration methods and usage according to the procedure. Anaesthesia administered by experienced Anaesthetists like Melbourne’s specialist, Dr. Anthony Singh, is safe and provides a painless experience.