In the practice of medicine, especially surgery and dentistry, anaesthesia is an induced, temporary state with one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Analgesia (Relief from or prevention of Pain)
  • Paralysis (Extreme Muscle Relaxation)
  • Amnesia (Loss of Memory)
  • Unconsciousness

Anaesthesia enables the painless performance of medical procedures that would cause severe or intolerable pain to an unanaesthetized patient. Three broad categories of anaesthesia exist:

  1. General Anaesthesia suppresses central nervous system activity and results in unconsciousness and total lack of sensation.
  2. Sedation (or Dissociative Anaesthesia) inhibits transmission of nerve impulses between the cerebral cortex and limbic system which inhibits both anxiety and creation of long – term memories
  3. Conduction anaesthesia, commonly known as regional or local anaesthesia blocks transmission of nerve impulses between a targeted part of the body and the spinal cord,which causes loss of sensation in the targeted body part.

The types of drugs used include general anaesthetics, hypnotics, sedatives, neuro mscular blocking drugs, narcotic and analgesics