General Anesthesia

General anaesthesia is a medically induced coma with loss of protecting impulses, resulting from the administration of one or more general anaesthetic agents. It is carried out to allow medical processes that would otherwise be unbearably painful for the patient; or where the nature of the procedure itself prohibits the patient being awake.

A variety of drugs may be administered, with the overall aim of safeguarding unconsciousness, amnesia, analgesia, loss of reflexes of the autonomic nervous system, and in some cases paralysis of skeletal muscles. The optimum combination of drugs for any given patient and procedure is typically selected by an anaesthetist, or another source such as an operating division practitioner, anaesthetist practitioner, physician assistant or nurse anaesthetist (depending on local practice), in consultation with the patient and the surgeon, dentist, or other practitioner executing the operative procedure.