If Anaesthetic sounds like a foreign word to you and you have little to no idea about what it actually means and what exactly it refers to, this article is suitable for you. Here, in-depth information regarding Anaesthetics and their use will be made available for the perusal of the reader.
An Anaesthetic is typically a drug that is used to put a patient in a state of insensitivity to pain. It is administered by licensed professionals with specialised training in Anesthesiology, called anaesthetists. An example would be Melbourne’s Specialist Anaesthetist, Dr Anthony Singh. During medical procedures like surgeries, a patient is bound to feel pain and the only way to prevent that is to give them Anaesthetics. They can numb the patient’s nerves and stop the sensory signals from alerting the brain of the pain.
Mainly, there are four types of Anaesthetic drugs which are given to patients to achieve the desired numbness of nerves and insensitivity to pain.
They are applied or injected into the skin of the region needed to be numbed, preventing the nerves from sending sensory signals to the brain to alert it of any sensation or pain. Their effect doesn’t last long and the patient recovers quickly. They are mostly used for minor medical procedures on a particular part of the body. Most commonly, the Local Anaesthetics are creams, patches, liquids, sprays or intravenous drugs. A few examples are Lidocaine, Benzocaine, Procaine, Chloroprocaine, etc.
These drugs render the patients unconscious. These drugs are usually administered for more invasive and time-consuming medical procedures. Their effect can last for hours and the patient only wakes up when the effect of the drug wears off. General Anaesthetics can cause drowsiness even after the patient is awake. They can be administered through inhalation or injection into the patient’s body. Examples of General Anaesthetics are Propofol, Ketamine, Nitrous Oxide (used for dental procedures), etc.
These drugs are used as supplementary pain blockers during general anaesthesia or sedation and sometimes for pain relief after the surgical procedure is complete. They work fast and provide instant relief to the patient. The most common IV Opioids are Morphine, Fentanyl, Methadone, Pethidine, etc.
These drugs are muscle relaxants and as their name suggests, they relax the muscles of the person to whom they are administered. They do not make the patient unconscious, they only affect the transmission of signals from the muscles to the brain. Examples are Atracurium, Mivacurium, Alcuronium, etc.
Anaesthetics have advantages as well as disadvantages. They are important for pain management and relief. They are used in a variety of instances. Painful medical procedures cannot be performed without them and not only that, people suffering from acute pain need these drugs for relief. They are mostly safe, however, some can cause a plethora of side effects, whether because of patients’ allergies or prior health conditions.
Anaesthetics play a vital role in hospitals where patients suffer from pain or are being operated upon every hour of every day. They are a marvellous discovery for the medical world and are being used worldwide to help patients find relief from their pain.