|“||These are my friends.||”|
— Dr. Dakota introduces her friends
"My Friends" is the nickname Dr. Dakota gives her three anesthetic needles.
Anesthesia is a mysterious concept to most of us, even if we've been anesthetized before. The term comes from the Greek for "loss of sensation," but that's not the only effect it causes in your body. Anesthesia, essentially a reversible condition induced by drugs, is intended to result in one or more different states of being. It can relieve pain, give you amnesia to knock out your memory of the procedure or how it felt, reduce anxiety (because who doesn't have anxiety when undergoing a medical procedure?) and paralyze your muscles.
It sounds a little scary, but anesthesia is made as safe as possible by careful calculation of the required dosages and diligent monitoring by medical professionals. And not all types of anesthesia are created equal.
When you think of anesthesia, it's likely you think of what's called general anesthesia, which is when you're completely unconscious during a medical procedure such as a major surgery. But there are several different types, and not all of them leave you oblivious to the world. Local anesthesia, for example, can affect just a small patch of skin. Which type you receive depends on a number of factors, including what kind of medical procedure you need and what your medical history looks like. There can also be some overlap between different types of anesthesia, and often, more than one drug is necessary to produce all the desired effects.
In this article, we will look at the different types of anesthesia so that you can understand what it is, how it works and what risks are involved. We'll also learn about anesthesia awareness and talk about the history of anesthesia (and what it has to do with cocaine). Let's start by looking at procedural sedation, also known as
Planet TerrorDr. Dakota, the anesthesiologist, was called in to sedate Joe, as they needed him to out cold during the surgery to amputate his arm.
It was the first to be used, Dakota says it was just to take the sting off.
It's likely that it was local anesthesia. An anesthetic drug (which can be given as a shot, spray, or ointment) numbs only a small, specific area of the body (for example, a foot, hand, or patch of skin). With local anesthesia, a person is awake or sedated, depending on what is needed. Local anesthesia lasts for a short period of time and is often used for minor outpatient procedures (when patients come in for surgery and can go home that same day). For someone having outpatient surgery in a clinic or doctor's office (such as the dentist or dermatologist), this is probably the type of anesthetic used. The medicine used can numb the area during the procedure and for a short time afterwards to help control post-surgery discomfort.
It was the second to be used, Dakota says that he'll barely feel it, and that would mean that the yellow friend has already taken effect.
This is probably regional anesthesia, applied near a cluster of nerves, numbing a larger area of the body (such as below the waist, like epidurals given to women in labor). Regional anesthesia is generally used to make a person more comfortable during and after the surgical procedure. Regional and general anesthesia are often combined.
It was the last to be used, Dakota says after this one, he'll never see her again.
It's likely that it was general anesthesia. The goal is to make and keep a person completely unconscious (or "asleep") during the operation, with no awareness or memory of the surgery. General anesthesia can be given through an IV (which requires sticking a needle into a vein, usually in the arm) or by inhaling gases or vapors by breathing into a mask or tube.