What is General Anaesthesia?
General anaesthesia is a medical procedure that allows the performance of a surgical intervention, a diagnostic exploration or another medical procedure that is potentially painful or uncomfortable, in appropriate conditions for the patient.
General anaesthesia provides the patient with a reversible state of loss of consciousness, analgesia and muscle relaxation.
How is it done?
To carry out this procedure, the appropriate medication is calculated according to the age, weight, type of surgery and diseases that the patient may have, then administered via a cannula attached to a vein.
Electrodes placed on the chest monitor the heart rate while the blood pressure is also monitored. A device is also placed on a finger (pulse oximeter) to monitor the oxygenation of the blood during the intervention.
Anaesthetic drugs depress breathing, so a tube often has to be inserted through the mouth or nose into the trachea (near the lungs), which is connected to a device that supports the patient's breathing while they are operated on.
Inserting the tube can cause injuries to the teeth. Even if the patient has fasted, part of the contents of the stomach can get into the lungs and cause serious respiratory disorders such as pneumonía. This is a serious, but rare, complication. The patient is monitored at all times by the nursing and medical team throughout the procedure to ensure maximum safety and comfort.
Complications of General Anaesthesia
Sometimes, mild discomfort such as a sore throat, cough, hoarse voice, nausea and vomiting, muscle pain, corneal ulcers or phlebitis at the injection site may occur.
Today, anaesthesia is very safe. In very few cases, it can cause complications. The risks depend primarily on the type of procedure, the patient's physical and medical condition and the type of anaesthesia used.
Interventions that cause more subsequent pain in the postoperative period may require the insertion of catheters for the administration of analgesics. The anaesthesiologist is responsible for monitoring these catheters and the drug dosage.