Despite high safety standards, many people fear a surgical procedure. In particular, the type of anesthesia infuses them with a great fear.

If surgery is necessary, the patient is rarely around an anesthetic. To prepare the patient for surgery, the enlightening conversation about the procedure and the Enlightenment heard about the appropriate anesthesia procedure. The associated risks of course be thoroughly explained to the patient. As simply understandable information can help take away the fear before surgery. Especially with regard to the anesthesia but patients often have a very uneasy feeling.

History of anesthesia in short form

On 16 March 1842 was the first time an ether anesthesia used, from Crawford Long William sen, an American physician and pharmacologist. On 16 October 1846 led William Thomas Green Morton in Boston, the first public ether anesthesia. In these 16 October is remembered every year with the Weltanasthesietag until today – the birth of modern anesthesiology. In 1847, the first ether anesthesia took place in German-speaking, in Bern (Switzerland) and Leipzig (Germany).



Of course, there has been great progress in the field of anesthesiology. The ether anesthesia was gradually replaced by modern drugs and procedures. There are essentially two methods are used: regional anesthesia and general anesthesia. Of the nature of the intervention depends on whether a local anesthetic or whether the patient is placed in a general anesthetic.

When regional anesthesia only certain areas of the body are numb, arms (brachial plexus block) or legs, lower body (epidural or spinal anesthesia). To sensation of an arm off the narcotics in the area of ​​the armpit or shoulder and neck area is sprayed. An epidural or spinal anesthesia is performed by injecting the anesthetic into the epidural area, called the spinal canal. The patient remains conscious, only the area in which the intervention must be made by the appropriate local anesthetic is turned off.

For general anesthesia, various methods are available. Typically, an infusion is placed before the beginning of the anesthetic, then the anesthetic agent can be injected. Possible by means of anesthesia is an anesthetic gas through a breathing mask. Here, however, only a deep sleep-like state is reached, which must be supported by the administration of other drugs. One such method is applied closer to short-term interventions.

Particularly important is the supply of oxygen to the patient during the operation. For example, in longer-lasting anesthesia because drugs are administered, which will include the respiratory drive partially or completely restricted or off the muscle activity by administration of muscle relaxants, a ventilator is essential. In most cases, the patient is intubated for this. For smaller, short-term interventions in laryngeal mask is often used.

About all these details in the preparation of the patient interview to be thoroughly informed. The anesthesiologist will answer his questions and he can thereby take its possibly existing concerns before surgery. If that was not enough, in relevant books will need more detailed information. (Book review: “No fear of anesthesia and surgery” , a 53-page patient guide by C. Kriczer, 1997 edition, Springer Verlag).

Risks, side effects and follow-up

The flood of forms that will be submitted to a patient prior to the day of surgery that he should read it carefully and finally sign, is not small. Anyone who already has heart palpitations before surgery to his body in a state extradite him helpless and without will, will perhaps be shocked at the list of possible risks during and after anesthesia. Doctors are required to name each to be drawn into consideration even the slightest complication during and after anesthesia, even if the probability that it occurs, is extremely low.

Similarly, low nowadays deaths during anesthesia. The comprehensive medical history of the patients are important factors that could influence the application and the course of anesthesia – addressed and recorded in advance – such as serious medical conditions or allergies to certain drugs or their ingredients. Without unequivocal clarification of all these factors, no one is put under general anesthesia and surgery. Statistically, therefore, the mortality rate is largely surgeries for healthy people at far below 1%. With pre-existing conditions and with increasing age of the patients, this percentage increases.

Technical progress minimizes the risks

It is also due in addition to the well-trained anesthesiologists course of technical progress that the risks for surgical procedures under anesthesia today are minimized. Electronic devices monitor meticulously vital functions (heart and circulatory, respiratory, etc.) and show any irregularity immediately to the vigilant anesthetist and the surgical team can respond immediately. Failures of the electronics are extremely rare. Against power outages, the hospitals are protected by emergency generators largely.

Well informed can get involved to calm the patient anesthesia. Not only in a personal interview preparation, when they stand before an operation. Recommended for those interested and affected parties and events are numerous clinics in October of each year, when the anniversary of Weltanasthesietag. These presentations will be announced in advance in the daily press or in the clinics directly. After a short presentation then, visitors have ample opportunity to talk with the attending physicians and / or share thoughts with those affected. – The hospital Waldshut (Kaiser Street 93-101 in 79761 Wald shut-Tiengen) informed by their officers during a World Anesthesia Day on emergency medicine and anesthesia, see photo.