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.
Local anaesthesia is a form of anaesthesia that makes use of local anaesthetics to induce anaesthesia or numbness to a small region. It does not involve generalized depression of all brain centers as general anaesthetics would. The local anaesthetics work by blocking the transmission of nerve impulses between a targeted body part and the spinal cord. Thus, the patient would remain fully conscious while the sensation in the targeted body part is lost temporarily following local anaesthetic administration. Lidocaine (Xylocaine) or (Marcaine) are commonly used to induce local anaesthesia.
Local anaesthesia is applied for purposes of inhibiting sensory perception such as the numbing of a tooth for dental works. It is also used to induce anaesthesia around the spinal cord to suppress sensation below a particular block such as in epidural and spinal anaesthesia.
- local anesthesia
- conduction anaesthesia