Awareness under anaesthesia

  Being awake during a general anaesthetic is extremely rare but the fear of awareness is not uncommon. British anaesthesia leads the world in undertaking national audit programmes (NAPs) and in 2014 NAP5 reported on awareness after analysing 2,800,000 anaesthetics. This report has significantly increased our understanding and allows us to reduce the risk and… Read more »

Obstructive sleep apnoea OSA

  Obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA is a condition where an individual stops breathing when they are asleep. It is more common in the obese and so we are seeing it more frequently. Most patients also snore but not all patients who snore have OSA as snoring can also arise from nasal obstruction.   It… Read more »

Driving after an anaesthetic

  If you are having a day case anaesthetic – in other words you are going home the same day as your operation – you will receive instructions from the hospital telling you that you have to be taken home, have a responsible adult stay overnight and that you should not drive. Some patients ask… Read more »

Anaesthesia and cosmetic surgery

  There has been a significant increase in the amount of cosmetic surgery undertaken in the UK over the past decade and although the greatest increases been in nonsurgical procedures such as fillers and Botox, the number of operations under general anaesthesia has also increased. The media has concentrated with some justification on whether patients… Read more »

Temperature control

  Temperature control during an operation is yet another of the many tasks that anaesthetists are responsible for. Temperature control has a number of benefits and also affects the patient in recovery so I thought it would be useful to include a blog   Humans are mammals and therefore maintain a very strict control over… Read more »

The difficult airway

  One of the most important jobs of an anaesthetist is maintaining the patient’s airway. As we lose consciousness, the tongue falls back and the airway becomes obstructed. In addition, anaesthetic drugs such as narcotics can suppress breathing. In some anaesthetics we deliberately stop the breathing so that we can relax the muscles to allow… Read more »

Sedation versus General Anaesthesia

  Advances in anaesthetic drugs mean many procedures can now be undertaken under sedation. Many patients find this decision quite difficult and I thought that a blog explaining the difference would be helpful.   General anaesthesia provides loss of consciousness or awareness together with pain relief. If you have a general anaesthetic you will be… Read more »

Screening

We are realizing that preventative medicine is as important as treatment. I have recently posted blogs on over-the-counter drugs that we might give to people without disease as well as a blog on healthy living. To complete my thoughts on preventative medicine, I wanted to post on health screening I am a great believer in… Read more »

Over the counter ‘Drugs’ and prophylactic drugs

  Lots of people take vitamins, minerals and other remedies they buy from health shops – so called ‘over the counter’. It is a massive industry – estimated to be worth £1.86b in the UK alone. Is this just clever marketing? The fact remains that a normal varied diet in the UK will provide all… Read more »

Hypertension

Hypertension or high blood pressure is very common and affects 16 million people in the UK. Often called the silent killer it has little effect for many years but can then cause heart attacks and strokes and is a major cause of death. It is very easy to measure and in most patients easy to… Read more »