All about Anaesthesia

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 2000 - Medical - 201 pages
Most people will experience an anaesthetic at some time in their lives. Some will undergo anaesthesia many times. It is common for people to be uneasy about having an anaesthetics yet modern anaesthesia is very safe and, indeed modern durgery would not be possible without developments in anaesthesia. The aim of this book is to explain what anaesthesia is, to describe how anaesthetics are given, and to detail how anesthetists care for you. The authors, both senior anaesthethists, show how anaesthetists can affect you and how you can affect your anaesthetic. Much of this information will come from the following course of seven patients as they make their way to and from the operating room. The questions they ask and the answers they receive will supplement basic descriptions of every part of the process of undergoing anaesthesia for surgery or other procedures. Chapter 1 introduces you to the specialty of anaesthesia. It describes who gives anaesthetists around the world. It also outlines the types of work they carry out and details how and why anaesthesia today is safe. The second chapter explains how and anaesthetic is not 'just a needle'. Chapter 3 we introduce you to your fellow patients. Chapter 4 provides a discussion of the different options for different medical patients. This chapter includes an explanation and discussion of informed consent. Chapter 5 details how you are evaluated before an anaesthetic. This evaluation includes both your general health and also aspects of your condition specific to the reason for undergoing anaesthesia. How you are prepared for an anaesthetic is the subject of Chapter 6. Again, both general preparation and preparation specific to anaesthesia are included. The next two chapters are 'Your anaesthetic' (Chapter 7) and 'After the anaesthetic' (Chapter 8). Chapters 9 and 10 recount common patient fears and common patient complaints. Chapter 11 details possible complications of anaesthesia. The last chapter (12) gives suggestions as to what you should do if you think that something has gone wrong. Appendix 1 provides details of what you can do to help, such as not smoking and following the instructions given by your anesthetist, your surgeon and other individuals looking after you. Appendix 2 provides questions to ask your anaesthetist while Appendix 3 gives a Glossary, explaining each of the words from the text shown in bold type. Appendix 4 outlines the history of anaesthesia. The last Appendix (5) is entitled Selected Reading. This provides not only book sources of information but also those from the Internet which give sensible and sound advice to help; you in making choices about the care you receive.

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Figures Figure 1 A modern anaesthetic workstation
Meet your fellow patients

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Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Rod Westhorpe is the current President of the Australian Society of Anaesthetists. He is an authority on anaesthetic history and is the honorary curator of the Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History in Melbourne. Jan Davies has published extensively, with an emphasis on safety issues. She has scripted or produced several medical education videos. She has extensive experience as an expert witness and is currently a consultant to Canada's longest and most expensive Royal Commission, into a revent hospital mishap.

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