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Anesthesiologist Assistant Guide to Anesthesia Terminology has collected a short list of anesthesia terminology and phrases used in the discipline of anesthesia medicine.

anesthesia – total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensibility, induced by disease, injury, acupuncture, or an anesthetic, such as chloroform or nitrous oxide.

anesthesia care team - the Anesthesia Care Team is the group of people that will be taking care of you during your procedure. This team always consists of an attending Anesthesiologist and either an Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or an anesthesia resident. The attending Anesthesiologist is a physician who has completely finished his or her medical training, as well as specialty training in anesthesiology, and makes all final decisions about your anesthesia care.

anesthesia awarenessanesthesia awareness, or "intra-operative awareness" occurs during general anesthesia, when a patient is paralyzed with muscle relaxants but not enough general anesthetic or analgesic to prevent consciousness or, more importantly, the sensation of pain and the recall of events.

anesthesiologist – a medical doctor who is specialized in the practice of anesthesiology, the branch of medicine involving the use of drugs or other agents that cause insensibility to pain.

anesthesiologist assistant (AA) - Anesthesiologist Assistants are highly skilled, knowledgeable, master degree earning members of the anesthesia care team who with their impeccable safety records work side by side with Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist's ( CRNA's). The Anesthesiologist Assistant functions as a specialty physician assistant under the direction of a licensed Anesthesiologist.
laryngoscope – a tubular endoscope that is inserted into the larynx through the mouth and used for observing the interior of the larynx.

local anesthesia – Local or regional anesthesia involves the injection or application of an anesthetic drug to a specific area of the body, as opposed to the entire body and brain as occurs during general anesthesia.

lidocaine – used for local or regional anesthesia; a synthetic amide, used chiefly in the form of its hydrochloride as a local anesthetic and antiarrhythmic agent, can be injected or applied topically.

morphine – used as a supplement to general anesthesia and for pain management during and after surgery. Morphine is a bitter crystalline alkaloid, extracted from opium, the soluble salts of which are used in medicine as an analgesic, a light anesthetic, or a sedative.

nitrous oxide – a colorless, sweet-tasting gas, N2O, used as a mild anesthetic in dentistry and surgery.

propofol - a rapidly acting, short duration, intravenous hypnotic anesthetic induction agent, which has low excitatory effect. It is harmless when injected into tissues or intra-arterially.

regional anesthesia – anesthesia characterized by the loss of sensation in a circumscribed region of the body (like an arm or leg) produced by the application of a regional anesthetic, usually by injection.

sedation – sedation is the act of calming by administration of a sedative. A sedative is a medication that commonly induces the nervous system to calm.

sodium pentothal/sodium thiopental – a yellowish-white powder, injected intravenously as a general anesthetic - a rapid-onset, short-acting general anesthetic most commonly used in the induction phase of anesthesia.
epidural anesthesia – anesthesia produced by the injection of a local anesthetic into the epidural space of the lumbar or sacral region of the spine, inducing regional anesthesia from the abdomen or pelvis downward and used especially to control pain during childbirth.

ether – ether (also known as diethyl ether) is an anesthetic and analgesic and was once used to knock patients out before surgery. It replaced chloroform which was extremely dangerous and sometimes caused liver damage. The American surgeon Crawford Williamson Long was the first to use it as a general anesthetic, in 1842. Ether itself is quite flammable and is no longer used much except in movies.

general anesthesia – general anesthesia is the induction of a state of unconsciousness with the absence of pain sensation over the entire body, through the administration of anesthetic drugs. It is used during certain medical and surgical procedures.

halothane – a colorless nonflammable liquid,used in the induction and maintenance of anesthesia as an inhalant anesthetic.

induction – in general anesthesia, where the patient falls into a state of unconsciousness with the absence of pain sensation over the entire body, through the administration of anesthetic drugs.

intravenous catheter (also called IV) – a catheter inserted into the vein to infuse medications and fluids prior to, during and after surgery or a medical procedure.

intubate/intubation – the insertion of a tube; especially the introduction of a tube into the larynx through the glottis for the introduction of an anesthetic gas or oxygen.

ketamine – a general anesthetic given intravenously or intramuscularly and used especially for minor surgical procedures in which muscle relaxation is not required.

laryngeal mask airway (commonly referred to as LMA) – the laryngeal mask airway is a device that sits tightly over the top of the larynx. It avoids tracheal intubation and can be used with spontaneous respiration or artificial ventilation. However, it may not protect the airway from the aspiration of regurgitated material. It has found favour in day case surgery. Patients who have been treated with the laryngeal mask airway claim it does not irritate the throat as intubation typically does.

catheter – a hollow flexible tube for insertion into a body cavity, duct, or vessel to allow the passage of fluids.

central venous catheter – a catheter passed through a peripheral vein and ending in the thoracic vena cava; it is used to measure venous pressure or to infuse concentrated solutions.

certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) – A Nurse Anesthetist, or Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, is a licensed professional nurse who provides similar anesthesia services as an anesthesiologist (MD). After completing extensive masters degree level education and training, CRNAs become nationally certified; they may then practice in all 50 states. Also see Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP).

diazepam – a tranquilizer, used in the treatment of anxiety and tension and as a sedative, muscle relaxant, and anticonvulsant.

endotracheal tube (also called ET tube or ETT) – a breathing tube, usually made of flexible plastic, inserted into the trachea to provide a passageway for air. Also called tracheal tube.

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