All about anaesthesia

Most people experience an anaesthetic at some time in their lives and some undergo anaesthesia many times.

It is normal for people to be uneasy about having an anaesthetic.

Modern anaesthesia is very safe and modern surgery would not be possible without developments in anaesthesia.

This website explains what anaesthesia is, how anaesthetics are given, and how anaesthetists care for you.

You can also learn how anaesthetics affect you and how you can affect your anaesthetic.

The term

‘Anaesthesia’ is derived from the Greek word meaning ‘without sensation’. The term is applied to medications which can produce anaesthesia, as well as to the whole process that patients undergo when having surgical and other medical procedures. People often describe ‘anaesthesia’ as being ‘put to sleep’. This is not strictly true: in ‘general anaesthesia’, anaesthetists in fact place their patients into a state of carefully controlled unconsciousness so that they will be unaware and not feel pain.

Anaesthesia in Australia

Most anaesthesia in Australia is administered by medical specialists, who are highly trained doctors who undergo five or more years training in anaesthesia, pain management, resuscitation and the management of medical emergencies after graduating from medical school and completing internship and residency years.

There is no safer place in the world to undergo anaesthesia than in Australia.

Ask your anaesthetist for a soft copy or printed copy of the Anaesthesia & You brochure available from the ASA.

Watch a video from the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) that explains what anaesthesia is.

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