The Two Most Dangerous Aspects of General Anesthesia

The two most dangerous aspects of general anesthesia are at the beginning, which is called the induction phase, and at the conclusion, which is called the emerging phase.

The general anesthesia patient has the endotracheal tube inserted into their windpipe. The anesthesiologist needs to view the vocal cords to be sure that the tube is passing between them and therefore into the trachea, the windpipe, and not behind it into the esophagus, the food pipe. Furthermore, when the endotracheal tube is probably inserted and its balloon cuff is inflated, then the anesthesiologist must listen to the chest to hear that the breath sounds are equal on both sides, and observe the exhaled carbon dioxide monitor be sure that it is recording exhaled air at 4%, versus room air which is less than 1%.

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