UCI Anesthesiology on the History and Types of Anesthesia

UCI anesthesiology is about the study of and application of anesthetics. Trained professionals in this field are known as anesthesiologists. They are trained to keep patients in a stable condition during and immediately after surgery by providing the proper amounts of anesthesia that provide relief of pain and maintain these levels. They also consult on pain management cases, diagnose and treat pain associated with cancer, serious illnesses and injuries. They also provide resuscitation to patients with respiratory or cardiac arrests and provide artificial ventilation when needed.

UCI anesthesia temporarily removes the sensations of pain. For patients that are having surgery or another painful type of procedure, the practice of anesthesiology plays an important role in keeping the patient comfortable and unaware of the pain that would otherwise be experienced. It can induce a loss of consciousness, loss of muscle reflexes and a reversible state of amnesia.

Local anesthesia is used for a specific area of the body. It numbs that area, such as what a dentist uses when pulling a tooth. This is also used during certain procedures such as removing superficial growths on the skin.

Regional anesthesia is used for larger areas of the body by a procedure that numbs an entire cluster of nerve cells. This type of anesthesiology is used when a patient is having an epidural or a spinal tap. General anesthesia is used during surgical procedures to keep the patient in an unconscious state without any awareness of sensations.

The first known use of anesthesiology was back in prehistory with the use of opium poppies. In later years wine and cannabis were used as anesthesia. Coco leaves were used in the Americas as well as alcohol. The ancient people learned that when giving too small of doses, it did not work, and when giving too large of doses it could kill the patient.

This taught the anesthesiologist of those days to use only certain herbs that were grown in specific areas and to discover the proper amounts that were effective at either alleviating pain or making their patient unconscious so a surgical procedure could be done. As time passed, modern man discovered morphine that could be used in an injectable form, which led to the beginning of the pharmaceutical industry.

Anesthesiology is now being practiced in new ways as it is not just limited to use in the operating rooms. Anesthesiologists are now performing as pre-operative doctors who do the work-ups for patients and help them to have more of an optimized healthy body before the actual surgery takes place, along with applying anesthesiology during surgery and providing the proper anesthetics after the surgery as well.

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