General Anesthesia

General Anesthesia is defined as a state of unconsciousness and insusceptibility to pain produced by the administration of anesthetic agents. The agents we use most commonly are injectable anesthetics and inhaled gas anesthetic. General Anesthesia can be broken down into three phases. The induction phase involves the use of injectable agents or inhaled gas to facilitate a controlled transition from consciousness to unconsciousness. Once complete, an endotracheal tube is placed in the airway and the maintenance phase begins. The maintenance phase usually involves the use of inhaled anesthetic agents. Proper monitoring is required to ensure the patient is maintained in the proper plane of anesthesia. Once the procedure is completed, the patient is recovered by allowing the anesthetic agent to be removed from the system. In the case of inhaled gases, this means turning off the source of the anesthetic and allowing the anesthetic to leave the system via the lungs while the patient breaths pure oxygen.