Anaesthesia

Definition

noun

An induced reversible loss of perception of pain and other sensations


Supplement

Anaesthesia is an induced reversible loss of pain and other sensations. It may involve the loss of sensation of pain (analgesia) and/or an extreme muscle relaxation (paralysis). It may also cause amnesia and unconsciousness. There are three forms of anaesthesia: (1) general anaesthesia, (2) dissociative anaesthesia, and (3) local anaesthesia.

Anaesthetics are used to induce anaesthesia. They are causing reversible loss of sensation. They are also capable of providing relief from or prevention of pain (analgesic effect). Thus, they are often used to facilitate surgery. There are two major categories of anaesthetics: (1) general anaesthetics and (2) local anaesthetics. General anaesthetics are drugs that produce loss of sensation associated with loss of consciousness. Local anaesthetics, in contrast, result in a small region of anaesthesia particularly at the region of the tissue wherein the anaesthetic is injected into. Lidocaine (Xylocaine) or (Marcaine) are commonly used local anaesthetics.

An anaesthesiologist is a physician performing anaesthesia.

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