The Department of Anaesthesiology at AIMS Hospital is an integral part of the hospital. The unit is equipped with latest technology devices for patient care, which include modern anaesthesia machines, gadgets for managing difficult airway, vital parameter monitors, ventilators, transesophageal echocardiography machines amongst many others.
All clinical departments are anchored to this specialty. The strength of the department lies in its strong team comprising of efficient and experienced anaesthesiologists and paramedical staff.
What is ‘Anaesthesia’?
The word ‘Anaesthesia’ means ‘loss of sensation’.
It stops Patient feeling pain and other sensations.
- It can be given in various ways.
- Not all anaesthesia makes Patient unconscious.
- It can be directed to different parts of the body.
Drugs that cause anaesthesia work by blocking the signals that pass along Patientr nerves to Patientr brain. When the drugs wear off, Patient start to feel normal sensations again, including pain.
Some types of anaesthesia
A local anaesthetic numbs a small part of Patient’s body. It is used when the nerves can easily be reached by drops, sprays, ointments or injections. Patient stays conscious but free from pain.
Regional anaesthesia can be used for operations on larger or deeper parts of the body. Local anaesthetic drugs are injected near to the bundles of nerves which carry signals from that area of the body to the brain.
The most common regional anaesthetics (also known as regional ‘blocks’) are spinal and epidural anaesthetics. These can be used for operations on the lower body such as Caesarean sections, bladder operations or replacing a hip joint. Patient stays conscious but free from pain.
General anaesthesia is a state of controlled unconsciousness during which Patient feel nothing and may be described as ‘anaesthetised’. This is essential for some operations and may be used as an alternative to regional anaesthesia for others. Anaesthetic drugs injected into a vein, or anaesthetic gases breathed into the lungs, are carried to the brain by the blood. They stop the brain recognising messages coming from the nerves in the body.
Anaesthetic unconsciousness is different from unconsciousness due to disease or injury and is different from sleep. As the anaesthetic drugs wear off, Patient’s consciousness starts to return.
Combining types of anaesthesia
Anaesthetic drugs and techniques are often combined.
- A regional anaesthetic may be given as well as a general anaesthetic to provide pain relief after the operation.
- Sedation may be used with a regional anaesthetic. The regional or local anaesthetic prevents Patient from feeling pain, and the sedation makes Patient feel drowsy and mentally relaxed during the operation.
Sedation is the use of small amounts of anaesthetic or similar drugs to produce a ‘sleepy-like’ state. It makes Patient physically and mentally relaxed during an investigation or procedure which may be unpleasant or painful (such as an endoscopy). Patient may remember a little about what happened or Patient may remember nothing. Sedation may be used by other healthcare professionals as well as anaesthetists.
If Patient is having a regional or local anaesthetic, Patient may need some sedation as well.