What is anesthesia?

  • (noun): Loss of bodily sensation with or without loss of consciousness.
    Synonyms: anaesthesia


Anesthesia, or anaesthesia (from Greek αν-, an-, "without"; and αἴσθησις, aisthēsis, "sensation"), traditionally meant the condition of having sensation (including the feeling of pain) blocked or temporarily taken away. It is a pharmacologically induced and reversible state of amnesia, analgesia, loss of responsiveness, loss of skeletal muscle reflexes or decreased stress response, or all simultaneously. These effects can be obtained from a single drug which alone provides the correct combination of effects, or occasionally a combination of drugs (such as hypnotics, sedatives, paralytics and analgesics) to achieve very specific combinations of results. This allows patients to undergo surgery and other procedures without the distress and pain they would otherwise experience. An alternative definition is a "reversible lack of awareness," including a total lack of awareness (e.g. a general anesthetic) or a lack of awareness of a part of the body such as a spinal anesthetic. The pre-existing word anesthesia was suggested by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. in 1846 as a word to use to describe this state.

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Some articles on anesthesia:

Scavenger System
... Often used to collect anesthesia, it can also be used to collect any type of gas or aerosolized medicine that is intended only for the patient and should not be breathed in ... of scavenger systems in operating rooms is to prevent the anesthesia from leaking away from the patient or anesthesia system and flooding the operating room ...
Anesthesia - History - Early Inhalational Anesthetics
... anesthetic Early Arab writings mention anesthesia by inhalation ... the first inhalational anesthetic used for surgical anesthesia ... After Morton had induced anesthesia, surgeon John Collins Warren removed a tumor from the neck of Edward Gilbert Abbott ...
Anesthesia Provision In The US - Anesthesia Providers - Nurse Anesthetists
... As of 2007 CRNAs represent 50% of the anesthesia workforce in the United States, with 36,000 providers, according to the American Association of ... they gain a masters degree in nurse anesthesia and must then pass a certification exam ... CRNAs administer anesthesia in all types of surgical cases, and are able to apply all of the accepted anesthetic techniques—general, regional, local, or sedation ...
List Of Master's Degrees In North America - Nurse Anesthesia
... The Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia degree prepares students to master the intellectual and technical skills required to become competent in the safe ...
Saddle Anesthesia
... Saddle anesthesia is a loss of sensation (anesthesia) restricted to the area of the buttocks and perineum ...