All news from Anaesthesiology

Trippy 1980's Video Effect Could Explain Consciousness, Study

Explaining consciousness is one of the hardest problems in science and philosophy. Recent neuroscientific discoveries suggest that a solution could be within reach – but grasping it will mean rethinking some familiar ideas. Consciousness, I argue in a  new paper, may be caused by the way the brain generates loops of energetic feedback, similar to the video feedback that "blossoms" when a video camera is pointed at its own output.

Regional Anesthesia Technique Reduces Pain, Opioid Use After Surgery

Women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer experience improved postsurgical pain relief and reduced opioid consumption when given a pectoralis nerve plane (PECS) block prior to surgery, suggests research presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY® 2018 annual meeting.

The PECS block is a newer regional anesthesia technique that works by injecting long-acting anesthetics, guided by ultrasound, to numb the front of the chest wall before surgical incision. 

Ketamine Used For Depression Treatment

It was an anesthetic for animals and people became a potent battlefield pain reliever in Vietnam and morphed into the trippy club drug Special K. Now the chameleon drug ketamine is finding new life as an unapproved treatment for depression and suicidal behavior.

Clinics have opened around the United States promising instant relief with their "unique" doses of ketamine in IVs, sprays or pills. And desperate patients are shelling out thousands of dollars for treatment often not covered by health insurance, with scant evidence on long-term benefits and risks.

Chicago preschool teacher Lauren Pestikas long struggled with depression and anxiety and several suicide attempts before trying ketamine earlier this year. The price tag is about $ 3,000, but "it's worth every dollar and penny," said the 36-year-old.

Potential Side Effects of General Anesthesia

The short-term effects of anesthesia are usually short-lived and manageable, but long-term neurological effects are a potential concern. Anesthetics , and in particular the inhaled ones used to put patients "under" for surgery, are considered one of the most important medical advances in history, the opening of the door for the entire modern field of surgery.

There are an estimated 46 million surgical procedures done each year in the US, and all anesthetics which make almost every one of these surgeries possible remain among the most toxic and poorly understood of all drugs.

Side Effects Of General Anesthesia

General anesthetics bring about a reversible loss of consciousness and analgesia in order for surgeons to operate on a patient. Their use is commonplace, but how they produce their effect is still not fully understood. General anesthesia is, essentially, a medically induced coma, not sleep. Drugs render a patient unresponsive and unconscious.

Regional Anesthesia Technique Reduces Pain

Women undergoing mastectomy for breast cancer experience improved postsurgical pain relief and reduced opioid when given to pectoralis nerve plane (PECS) block prior to surgery, suggests research presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY ®  2018 annual meeting. The PECS block is a newer regional anesthesia technique that works by injecting long-acting anesthetics, guided by ultrasound, to numb the front of the chest wall before surgical incision. 

Crisis Patients Perceive Opioids For Postsurgical Pain

Letting women who've had a cesarean section and control pain medication through a catheter reduces their use of oral addictive opioid painkillers, report researchers. Their study included 576 women who had planned C-sections.

In such cases, it is common to inject a local anesthetic and a small dose of morphine into the spinal fluid. The morphine provides about 18 hours of pain relief after surgery, but significant pain may continue for several days.

In most cases, women are given oral opioids to manage that pain. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Postoperative Brain Function In Patients After Anesthesia & Surgery

A multidisciplinary, international group of experts has recommended changing the way clinicians and patients describe cognitive changes experienced in some patients after anesthesia and surgery.

The study was published in the journal Anesthesiology, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), Acta Anaesthesologica Scandinavica, Anesthesia & Analgesia, British Journal of Anaesthesia, Canadian Journal of Anesthesia and the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.