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What is general anesthesia?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

As explained by WebMD, general anesthesia is a type of medication used to induce a peaceful, unconscious state. Not only does it prevent patients from feeling pain, it also deprives you of any memories of the procedure.  

While general anesthesia has been standard during surgeries for some time now, doctors must still take every precaution to keep patients safe and secure. This guide explains how the process works, as well as explaining possible issues during surgery.  

How does general anesthesia work?

An anesthesiologist administers medication through an IV line inserted into your arm or hand, although it is also available in the form of gas. Its effects come on in stages. The first stage is induction, which occurs just after the anesthesiologist administers medication.

Next is the delirium stage, which causes irregular heartbeat and accelerated pulse rate. Monitoring is key during this stage to prevent side effects or complications. The next stage is the surgical anesthesia phase, which is when the procedure can actually take place.

What are the possible side effects?

Monitoring is crucial during procedures to ensure patients remain well. However, side effects like drowsiness, nausea, muscle aches, and dry mouth can occur after the patient is brought out of anesthesia.  

It is also possible to overdose on the medication if the anesthesiologist provides too much. In this case, your brain will no longer signal your heart and lungs to function. This illustrates why it is so important for doctors to properly assess patient characteristics, such as height and weight, to get the correct dosage. 

All surgical procedures entail some level of risk, and it is the responsibility of your doctor and other medical staff to proceed safely. When health care professionals are careless or negligent, serious complications can occur.