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Frequently Asked Questions About General Anesthesia

What is general anesthesia?

What is general anesthesia?

General anesthesia is a combination of medications that put a patient in a sleep-like state before a surgical procedure. The medicine is either inhaled through a breathing mask or tube or given through an intravenous (IV) line. General anesthesia interrupts nerve signals between a patient’s brain and body. Essentially, general anesthesia prevents the brain from processing pain and recollecting the events during the surgery.

Who administers general anesthesia to a patient?

A hospital’s anesthesiologist is in charge of administering general anesthesia to patients before surgery and manages patient care during and after surgery with the help of a nurse anesthetist and other clinicians.

How is general anesthesia administered to a patient?

An anesthesiologist may administer general anesthesia before a patient’s surgery through an IV line inserted into the vein of the arm or hand. Or the anesthesiologist may use an anesthesia machine to sedate the patient. When an anesthesia machine is used, the patient will breathe in gas through a mask.

Who administers general anesthesia to a patient?

What happens after a patient is administered general anesthesia?

When a patient is administered general anesthesia, they fall asleep within minutes. Once asleep, the anesthesiologist may intubate the patient by inserting a tube through the mouth and into the windpipe. The tube is necessary for most major operations under general anesthesia, so the patient gets oxygen during surgery.

During surgery, the anesthesiologist monitors the patient’s temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, body fluids, and many other vital signs to ensure the patient’s safety.

Once the surgery is completed, the anesthesiologist will stop administering general anesthesia medicines to the patient. The next step occurs when a patient is transported to a recovery room where they will wake up. The anesthesiologist works to ensure that the patient is not in pain or experiencing problems from the procedure or adverse effects from the anesthesia.

When is general anesthesia needed?

Anesthesiologists will administer general anesthesia to the patient if the procedure takes longer than an hour, affects the patient’s breathing, involves a large area of the body or a major organ, or if the procedure will cause significant blood loss to the patient.

When is general anesthesia not needed?

The doctor may decide not to use general anesthesia if the surgery is minor. Minor surgical procedures include endoscopic browlifts, eyelid surgery, and lip augmentation. For similar reasons, general anesthesia might also not be needed if the procedure affects a small portion of the body.

Rather than administering general anesthesia, doctors might use local or regional anesthesia. Local anesthesia prevents pain in a small, specific body area during surgery, Regional anesthesia is designed to numb a more extensive body area, such as the spinal canal, during an epidural block. When both types of anesthesia are administered, the patient is typically awake during surgery.

How does a patient prepare for general anesthesia?

How does a patient prepare for general anesthesia?

Before surgery, the anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist, along with the patient’s doctor, will review the basics of surgery and what to expect. The patient will be informed about possible complications and will be asked to share their medical conditions, disclose any over-the-counter medications or herbal supplements they are taking, if they have ever had a reaction to anesthesia during surgery, or have any known allergies to specific foods or drugs. It’s also routine for the patient to be asked if they smoke, drink alcohol, or take any prescribed or recreational drugs.

Patients are advised not to eat or drink anything but water at least 8 hours before surgery. General anesthesia relaxes the muscles. If the stomach has food or drink in it, there is a risk of vomiting.

The patient may need to stop taking medicines like aspirin or blood thinners a week before surgery as these medications can cause uncontrolled bleeding during surgery.

What are the risks and side effects of general anesthesia? 

Nausea, vomiting, dry mouth, sore throat, and hoarse voice are common side effects of general anesthesia. The patient may also feel drowsy when they wake up after a procedure. General anesthesia’s other side effects include sleepiness, shivering, muscle aches, and itching. In some cases, especially with older patients, a complication known as delirium may develop, but in most cases, it is transient and reversible.

Will general anesthesia affect a patient’s memory?

After general anesthesia, trouble with memory is common in patients who have Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, heart disease, or even lung disease. General anesthesia is safe for most people. However, it carries a greater chance of complications if the patient is obese, elderly, has high blood pressure, has heart or lung disease, suffers from epilepsy, diabetes, or kidney disease.

anesthesia machines for healthcare facilities

Does Mindray North America supply anesthesia machines to healthcare facilities?

 Mindray North America – Advancing Anesthesia Care

 Mindray’s comprehensive anesthesia portfolio provides solutions that support clinical needs for all acuity levels across the continuum of care.

A-Series Advantage – Anesthesia Machines

A-Series Advantage systems offer a consistent, simple approach to anesthesia delivery. The user interface is intuitive, easy to navigate, and the digital technology facilitates precise setting adjustments and ventilation modes. Standard ventilation modes include Manual/Spontaneous breathing, Volume Control, and expanded Pressure Support with CPAP, with many additional advanced ventilation modes standard on the A5 and A7 systems. Optional advanced ventilation modes and features are available on all systems, as needed, to ensure your clinical needs are met. Learn more about the A-Series Anesthesia Machines.

Choose the Mindray Advantage

Low Cost of Ownership – All A-Series Advantage systems come with a standard 3-year warranty and require only one annual preventative maintenance service check.

Engineered for Patient SafetyAuxiliary O2/Air mixer delivers blended gas and regulates the combustible O2 percentage being delivered via nasal cannula, reducing the risk of airway fire. A warmed breathing system minimizes internal condensation enhancing system reliability, along with a robust battery backup.

Integration and ConnectivityBest-in-class connectivity and integration utilizing HL7 offers a direct interface to hospital systems and EMRs.

Contact us today and speak directly with one of our team members to help guide you through our anesthesia machine solutions and determine which model and purchase plan work best based on your needs.



How to Prepare for Anesthesia: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/anesthesia-prep

General Anesthesia: https://www.asahq.org/madeforthismoment/anesthesia-101/types-of-anesthesia/general-anesthesia/

Anesthesia: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/types-of-anesthesia-and-your-anesthesiologist

General Anesthesia Overview: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/anesthesia/about/pac-20384568

General Anesthesia Procedure: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-general-anesthesia

Anesthesia Risks: https://www.asahq.org/madeforthismoment/anesthesia-101/types-of-anesthesia/anesthesia-risks/

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