Advertisement

How can doctors measure consciousness during general anesthesia?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

An active brain during general anesthesia is particularly difficult to monitor. Doctors might suspect that consciousness isn't fully dampened when they see signs such as an elevated blood pressure or heart rate, or muscle movement. But certain drugs used to achieve anesthesia may mask these changes. Some hospitals use the bispectral index (BIS) brain-sensing monitor, similar to an electroencephalogram (EEG), to measure a patient's level of consciousness. But not all hospitals use this monitoring method and some doctors dispute their value in signaling or preventing anesthesia awareness.


Continue Learning about Anesthetic Agent

What is an anesthetic?
Piedmont Heart InstitutePiedmont Heart Institute
An anesthetic is a drug or other substance that causes a loss of feeling or awareness. Local anesthe...
More Answers
What is topical lidocaine?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Lidocaine is a local anesthetic (pain-reliever) available in a skin patch (Lidoderm) that helps cont...
More Answers
What is conscious sedation?
Lisa MomentLisa Moment
Conscious sedation is a type of sedation used to help patients feel relaxed enough to get through a ...
More Answers
What are the risks and side effects of an epidural?
StoneSprings Hospital CenterStoneSprings Hospital Center
The risks and side effects of an epidural include infection at the site of the needle and headache. ...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.