Disadvantages Of Anesthesia

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Before the improvements of anesthetic practices, surgery was a last resort for patients. According to Dr. John Sullivan, Massachusetts General Hospital only performed 333 surgeries from 1821 to 1846. At this rate, surgeries were only being done around once every month. This trend was common in most hospitals during the 19th century. Surgeons tried multiple techniques such as hypnosis, distraction, and alcohol to help ease the pain of operations. In some extreme cases, a state of unconsciousness was reached through a forceful hit to the jaw, allowing doctors a small window to perform surgery (Sullivan). This year, Massachusetts General Hospital reported that more than 42,000 operations are performed annually ("Hospital"). The primitive practices…show more content…
As stated by Dr. Christopher Press, "General anesthesia is the state produced when a patient receives medications for amnesia, analgesia, muscle paralysis, and sedation." This particular type of anesthesia is different from local or regional anesthesia in that it affects the entire body, including the brain. Regional anesthesia is a temporary sedative that eliminates pain in the area of the operation, and local anesthesia is injected into the skin in the precise location of the operation, reducing pain and sensation in a single area ("Pediatric"). These types of anesthesia do not completely prevent awareness of surgery and can even be administered when the patient is awake and functioning on their own. General anesthesia is most useful in complicated surgeries that involve the most amount of pain and require absolute stillness of…show more content…
As seen in "A Walk Through the Use of Anesthesia," patients being prepared for an operation must first have their lungs cleared of nitrogen. The anesthesiologist will begin the process of administering anesthesia by allowing the patient to breathe pure oxygen through a mask before adding the anesthetic. This provides that the patient 's body will more willingly accept the medications and circulate them more efficiently through the bloodstream. As the oxygen becomes concentrated with anesthetic, the patient then enters the four stages that are associated with general anesthesia. The first stage involves analgesia, or the reduction of sensation and pain. In this stage, a patient is still conscious and able to hold a conversation but may lose awareness of surroundings. This stage is often when anesthesiologists will begin IV lines (Sisk). The next phase is known as the "excitement" phase because patients may experience delirium or violence due to increase in blood pressure and higher breathing rates. This stage is often avoided by added medications such as sodium Pentothal or other barbiturates (Sisk). The patient then enters the surgical anesthesia stage in which surgeons begin the operation. Breathing becomes regular, eye movements cease, and muscles are completely relaxed due to additional medication added to the anesthetic
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