Anesthesia as Pain Treatment
In the practice of medicine (especially surgery) and dentistry, anesthesia is a temporary induced state with one or more of analgesia (relief from or prevention of pain), paralysis (muscle relaxation), amnesia (loss of memory), and unconsciousness. A patient under the effects of anesthetic drugs is referred to as being anesthetized. Anesthesia is freedom from pain. Each year, millions of people in the United States undergo some form of medical treatment requiring anesthesia. Anesthesia, in the hands of qualified professionals like Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), is a safe and effective means of alleviating pain during nearly every type of medical procedure. Anesthesia care is not confined to surgery alone. The process also refers to activities that take place both before and after an anesthetic is given. In the majority of cases, anesthesia is administered by a CRNA. CRNAs work with your surgeon, dentist or podiatrist, and may work with an anesthesiologist (physician anesthetist). CRNAs are advanced practice registered nurses with specialized graduate-level education in anesthesiology. For more than 150 years, nurse anesthetists have been administering anesthesia in all types of surgical cases, using all anesthetic techniques and practicing in every setting in which anesthesia is administered. Anesthesia enables the painless performance of medical procedures that would cause severe or intolerable pain to an un-anesthetized patient.