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Anesthesia Information and Emergency Medicine

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What is monitored during Anesthesia?

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Patients under general anesthesia must undergo continuous physiological monitoring to ensure safety. In the US, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) has established minimum monitoring guidelines for patients receiving general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, or sedation. These include electrocardiography (ECG), heart rate, blood pressure, inspired and expired gases, oxygen saturation of the blood (pulse oximetry), and temperature.

In the UK the Association of Anaesthetists (AAGBI) have set minimum monitoring guidelines for general and regional anesthesia. For minor surgery, this generally includes monitoring of heart rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and inspired and expired concentrations for oxygen, carbon dioxide, and inhalational anesthetic agents. For more invasive surgery, monitoring may also include temperature, urine output, blood pressure, central venous pressure, pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary artery occlusion pressure, cardiac output, cerebral activity, and neuromuscular function. In addition, the operating room environment must be monitored for ambient temperature and humidity, as well as for accumulation of exhaled inhalational anesthetic agents, which might be deleterious to the health of operating room personnel.

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