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Brief of Local Anaesthesia

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10th-Nov-2017       
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Life Desk :
Local anaesthesia, simply means injecting the local anaesthetic ("freezing") around the nerve of the affected area to make it pain free. Technically speaking, local anaesthetics are drugs that block sensory and motor nerve impulse conduction, mainly to produce temporary loss of sensation without loss of consciousness.
The loss of sensation is usually restricted to the area where the injection is applied while other areas of the body are not affected. Local anaesthetics are readily absorbed through mucous membranes and damaged skin. For certain procedures, addition of adrenaline along with the anaesthetic drug can be used to prolong the duration of local anaesthesia.
Local anaesthetics can be applied close to the nerve of any part of the body, namely, a finger, an eyelid, the foot or a tooth that requires an operation without other areas getting anesthetized. It can be applied to the mouth, nose or any area lined by mucous membrane in the form of a spray, or gel or by means of an injection; operations can then be performed on the affected part while the patient remains conscious.
Some of the local anaesthetic drugs:
Lignocaine (Lidocaine): It is a commonly used local anaesthetic drug. After administration, it has a rapid onset of action within 3 minutes. When combined with adrenaline, the duration can be extended up to 1 or 2 hours.
Bupivacaine: It is a potent local anaesthetic and takes up to 30 minutes for full effect and has a longer duration of action.
Local anaesthetics can be used alone or in combination with other types of anaesthetic agents such as spinal or epidural anaesthetics. Local anaesthesia is given to reduce the stress associated with surgery, and to provide pain relief after surgery.
More commonly, it is used for pain caused by hemorrhoids, fissures, insect bites, and minor burns. It is applied topically for these conditions.
It is also indicated for vaginal, rectal and otological examinations, cystoscopy, and catheterization.
Indications for local anaesthesia
Local anaesthesia avoids some of the risks and unpleasantness associated with other forms of anaesthesia, such as nausea and vomiting.
The anaesthetic action extends for longer than required and therefore provides pain relief for several hours after the operation.
Local anaesthsia is associated with reduced blood loss.
It gives the patient a sense of being more "in control" as they are awake during the procedure.
The patient returns to normal eating, walking and other activities faster than in general anaesthesia. He may even be able to return home the same day following the surgery.
What are the Adverse Effects of Local Anaesthesia?
It is very important to be alert following local anaesthesia because adverse symptoms may occur quickly without any warning.
Adverse effects of local anaesthesia
Local anaesthetics are contraindicated if there is a history of previous hypersensitivity to local anaesthetic, sunscreens, sulpha drugs or hair dyes.
Other contraindications would depend on the specific local anaesthetic used.
Most local administration techniques involve using a syringe and a needle to inject drugs into the correct place. The technique can be slightly uncomfortable, accompanied by a stinging sensation. But there is no reason to worry, as the pain associated with the administration is more bearable than the injury itself.
When the right amount of the local anaesthetic drug is injected into the affected area, it will eventually work and provide good pain relief.
More amount of anaesthetic can be added in order to achieve the desired result.
Some sedative can be given to ensure better relaxation and comfort.
Other forms of anaesthesia can be considered in some cases.
Courtesy: Medindia

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