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General anaesthesia

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Definition

noun

A form of anaesthesia that acts on the central nervous system resulting in unconsciousness and total lack of sensation


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.

General anaesthesia is a form of anaesthesia that results in putting the patient to sleep. It induces the loss of reflexes by administering anaesthetics. The development of modern anaesthetic techniques is credited to the research works during the 18th and 19th centuries especially when antisepsis and asepsis techniques were laid down and advances in pharmacology, particularly in promoting analgesia, were formulated.

General anaesthesia are now used for promoting these temporary effects: unconsciousness, analgesia (loss of sensation of pain), amnesia (loss of memory), immobility (loss of motor reflexes), and skeletal muscle relaxation.

The mechanism of action of general anaesthetics are not yet fully known but involves the GABA, glutamate-activated ion channels, NMDA receptor families, voltage-gated ion channels, and glycine and serotonin receptors.1


Variant(s):

  • general anesthesia

See also:


Reference(s):
1 General anaesthesia. Retrieved from [[1]].