It’s where you knock people out before a surgery, stay with them during the surgery, awake them and make sure they are perfectly alright.

Basically, when one talks about anaesthesiology, the next thing that comes to mind is anaesthesia and that is loss of sensation with or without loss of consciousness. There are ways of producing anaesthesia but the choice depends on the type of surgery and the medical condition and preference of the patient.

Analgesia, loss of pain sensation without loss of consciousness, results from injecting a solution of local anaesthetic drug either into the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the spinal cord (spinal anaesthesia) or into the epidural space surrounding the cerebrospinal fluid (epidural anaesthesia). Narcotic opioids are injected postoperatively into either the epidural space or cerebrospinal fluid for pain relief.

Analgesia can be localised to a small area, for example, the forearm, by injecting a local anaesthetic solution around nerves supplying the area, that is the brachial plexus in the upper arm and chest supplies the forearm. Large peripheral nerves may also be blocked individually by using this method.

It’s an anaesthesiologist who studies about anaesthesia and knows what medications are compatible, including the meds to use for allergic patients and knows exactly how much to use, how often, how long.

He keeps a patient sedated during surgery and continuously monitors his vital signs – breathing, blood pressure, and homeostasis and in short keeps everything balanced to acceptable levels during the surgery.

An anaesthesiologist, among others, can also direct to end a surgery if the patient’s vital signs are within deviation from the normal that could lead to possible death. In fact, an anaesthesiologist job starts very much before the surgery where he monitors the patient in the ward one day before or the morning of the surgery to determine if he is fit for surgery and his task continues even after the patient returns to the ward.

There is also the anaesthesiologist-intensivist who works with a multidisciplinary team in the intensive care unit to improve patient survival rates and quality of care, decrease procedure complications and promote medication safety. Patients admitted in ICU are victims of life-threatening illnesses and due to their unstable medical condition need to be closely monitored by a team of experts including the intensivist.

Our Department of Anaesthesiology provides perioperative management to patients undergoing diagnostic or interventional procedures. The department provides a variety of patient-oriented anaesthesia services for procedures ranging from minor day surgeries to major cardiac surgeries.

The team’s pivotal role is to ease suffering and improve the quality of life of those living in pain, especially those suffering from terminal diseases such as cancer. These patients are not only taught how to manage their pain but also prescribed drugs such as analgesics to overcome their pain trauma.