Anaesthesia: Modern Approaches


Anaesthesia, the single largest hospital medical speciality, has expanded to include anaesthesia, acute and chronic pain relief and intensive care. Over 60 per cent of hospital patients are in contact with anaesthetists. Developments over the past decades have increased its safety and its mechanisms have become clearer. Many anaesthetists are becoming perioperative physicians and take an increasing role in the delivery of postoperative care.

Keywords: anaesthesia; mechanisms; circulation; assessment; monitoring


Finucane BT (1991) Regional anaesthesia: complications and techniques. Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia 38(4; part 2): R3–16.

Foëx P (1994) Cardiological problems. In: Morris PJ and Malt RA (eds) Oxford Textbook of Surgery, pp. 178–188. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Franks NP and Lieb WR (1992) Molecular and cellular mechanisms of general anaesthesia. Nature 367: 607–614.

Franks NP and Lieb WR (1997) Inhibitory synapses. Anaesthetics set their sites on ion channels. Nature 389: 334–335.

Howell SJ, Sear YM, Yeates D et al. (1998) Risk factors for cardiovascular death after elective surgery under general anaesthesia. British Journal of Anaesthesia 80: 14–19.

National Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Deaths (NCEPOD) (1992) The Report of the National Confidential Enquiry into Perioperative Deaths. London: NCEPOD.

Palda VA and Detsky AS (1997) Perioperative assessment and management of risk from coronary artery disease. Annals of Internal Medicine 127: 313–328.

Priebe HJ (1999) Effects of anesthetic agents on the heart and circulation. In: Foëx P, Harrison GG and Opie LH (eds) Cardiovascular Drugs in the Perioperative Period, pp. 33–57. New York: Lippincott‐Raven

Sewell JC and Halsey MJ (1997) Shape similarity indices are the best predictors of substituted fluoroethane and ether anaesthesia. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 32: 731–737.

Tramer M, Moore A and McQuay H (1997) Meta‐analytic comparison of prophylactic antiemetic efficacy for postoperative nausea and vomiting: propofol anaesthesia vs omitting nitrous oxide vs total i.v. anaesthesia with propofol. British Journal of Anaesthesia 78: 256–259.

Van Aken H, Thompson D, Smith G and Zorab J (1998) 150 years of anaesthesia – a long way to perioperative medicine: the modern role of the anaesthesiologist. European Journal of Anaesthesiology 15: 520–523.

Further Reading

Allman KG, Muir A, Howell SJ et al. (1994) Resistant hypertension and preoperative silent myocardial ischaemia in surgical patients. British Journal of Anaesthesia 73: 574–578.

Belelli D, Lambert JJ, Peters JA, Wafford K and Whiting PJ (1997) The interaction of the general anesthetic etomidate with the gamma‐aminobutyric acid type A receptor is influenced by a single amino acid. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 94: 11031–11036.

Foëx P and Reeder MK (1996) Cardiovascular complications. In: Campbell WB and Horrocks M (eds) Complications of Arterial Surgery: A Practical Approach, pp. 11–21. Oxford: Butterworth–Heinemann.

Franks NP and Lieb WR (1996) An anesthetic‐sensitive superfamily of neurotransmitter‐gated ion channels. Journal of Clinical Anesthesia 8(3 supplement): 3S–7S.

Priebe HJ (1991) Coronary circulation and factors affecting coronary ‘steal’. European Journal of Anaesthesiology 8: 177–195.

Contact Editor close
Submit a note to the editor about this article by filling in the form below.

* Required Field

How to Cite close
Foëx, Pierre(Apr 2001) Anaesthesia: Modern Approaches. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002129]