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Anesthesiologists ensure that patients are relaxed and put under appropriate sedation for everything from small medical procedures to major surgeries such as open-heart surgery, brain surgery or organ transplants. They are also responsible for the health and safety of the patient after a surgery and monitoring their status from when they go under until they come out of sedation. They use ‘anesthetics’ a drug that assists in preparing patients for surgery by reducing or preventing pain.
‘Anesthetics provide continuous pain relief and sustain patients’ critical life functions as they are affected throughout surgical, obstetrical or other medical procedures,’ according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Anesthetics block pain and other signals from passing along nerves to the brain and Anesthesiologists are able to assess any risks to patients as well as determine the safest course of treatment for each patient depending on the procedure and type of anesthetic being administered.
There are several different types of anesthesia that can be applied by a qualified Anesthesiologist and these include what are known as general anesthetic, regional anesthetic, local anesthetic.
Anesthesia can be administered via various methods such as through gas/inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide) and IV (intravenous) sedation where the anesthetic is injected directly into the patient’s bloodstream.
Anesthesiologists can often specialize further into areas such as cardiac anesthesia for heart surgery, pediatric anesthesia as well as neuroanesthesia for surgery on the brain and spinal cord.