Ultrasound techniques will be demonstrated to the public this Monday 17 October at Hutt Hospital as part of National Anaesthesia Day.
Hutt Valley Health Board Chief Executive Dr Ashley Bloomfield will join with other staff to be part of demonstrations in the entrance foyer which takes place from 9 am to 3pm.
National Anaesthesia Day’s theme this year is regional anaesthesia, which only numbs the part of the body being operated on with the patient being fully aware.
Hospital staff will demonstrate ultrasound techniques which let anaesthetists see where they are directing the needle administering the anaesthetic. This helps ensure its correct placement in relation to muscles, nerves and blood vessels.
Regional anaesthesia is used for a range of operations and procedures, such as epidurals for pain relief during childbirth and operations on limbs, including hip and knee replacements.
It can be the only option for people too unwell to cope with a full general anaesthetic. Patients can also have a light general anaesthetic or sedation as well, leaving them unconscious and unaware.
The benefits of regional anaesthesia include better pain control, faster recovery, fewer side effects and less stress on the body.
National Anaesthesia Day is an annual promotion by the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) marking the anniversary of the day (October 16) in 1846 when ether anaesthetic was first demonstrated publicly in Boston. The aim of the promotion is to raise public awareness of anaesthesia and the range of work anaesthetists do.