How do you induce (start) Anaesthesia?

The main objective of inducing anaesthesia is to achieve a rapid state of unconsciousness

After this state has been achieved the aim is to maintain this state and then to achieve a rapid recovery after the operation.

Methods of Induction

Before the operation the patient is taken to the anaesthetic room (next to the operating theatre). This is where the anaesthetic will be induced before being transferred to the operating theatre. There are two ways of inducing an anaesthetic:

IV Induction
This is the most commonly used way to induce an anaesthetic. It involves delivering a bolus of the drug into the arm, and then the patient becomes unconscious in the time it takes for the drug to travel from the arm to the brain.

Inhalational Induction
This is a way of inducing an anaesthetic without the use of needles. The patient breathes from a mask to which anaesthetic gases are delivered. This process is used for children or adults with needle phobias. The disadvantage of this technique is that it takes longer for the patient to become unconscious.

Tracheal Intubation

All patients undergoing thyroid or parathyroid surgery will require tracheal intubation. The reasons for the intubation are:

  • Ease of delivering gases
  • The site of the surgery
  • To ensure airway patency
  • To protect the airway from aspiration
  • Patients needing muscle relaxants during surgery ( i.e. abdominal surgery)