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Anaesthetics 

Anaesthetics
Chapter:
Anaesthetics
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199681907.003.0007
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date: 23 August 2019

Anaesthesia is the field of medicine specializing in modifications of sensation or awareness, in particular in the setting of surgery and labour. Anaesthesia can be general, regional, or local. The chapter outlines preoperative anaesthetic assessment including the Mallampati score, fasting history, medication review, and risk stratification. Anaesthetic agents (inhaled/intravenous) are summarized, as well as the functions (and safety checks) of the anaesthetic machine. A standardized approach to the general anaesthetic is described including induction, airway control, intubation, maintenance, and emergence. An overview of regional and obstetric anaesthesia is also included, in addition to the principles of safe administration of local anaesthesia. The World Health Organization pain ladder is also described. Critical incidents and anaesthetic emergencies (the difficult airway, anaphylaxis, malignant hyperthermia) are explained.

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