Anesthesia is commonly used to relax certain parts of the body or even render a person unconscious. Often a patient given anesthesia prior to a medical procedure in which they believe they are being ‘put to sleep’. According to Medical News Today the administration of anesthesia can be more closely linked to putting a patient in a coma rather than putting them to sleep. Three individuals with expertise in anesthesia, sleep conditions, and coma recovery analyzed data gathered while patients were unconscious.
Anesthesiologists are trained professionals that can accurately assess and deal with someone’s comfort level during a procedure. Providing the drugs to induce a medical coma and bringing the patient out of it is an effective way to regulate functions of the body during procedures such as surgery. The fact that the common thought of being put to sleep is now more closely associated with a coma shouldn’t alarm any potential patients. The procedure is just as safe as it has been and this breakthrough may be able to increase the efficiency of anesthesiologists among other things.
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The brain functions of patients ‘sleeping’ during medical procedures has been monitored and periodically studied but now can be taken a step further. Judging how the brain reacts while in an easily reversible medically induced coma may help predict brain function of someone who has fallen into a coma from trauma. Knowing what level of brain function to expect can help a physician more accurately give information and a prognosis for the patient. It may also one day lead to a break through in how to bring a patient safely out of a coma and help them recover much quickly. Anesthesia generally induces a coma for minutes to hours while a coma from trauma can take days, weeks, or even years to come out of, it at all.
Not only will studies now be done to look further into traumatic comas but it may also lead to potential discoveries in sleep disorders. Anesthesia being a safe way to induce a reversible medically induced sleep-like coma may lead to new drugs for patients with difficulty sleeping. The product being safe when used by trained professionals may be able to be administered in small doses by an individual to help them sleep better. This new information available about anesthesia brings numerous possibilities for future benefits in medicine. While it will probably still be referred to as being put to sleep, the process is a little more complex than that.