Pain is something everyone experiences. This episode of The Anthill podcast explores how and why it works in our brains, what kinds of drugs are being developed to reduce pain, and whether or not robots of the future should be built so that they experience pain.
We shouldn’t have to wait for a disaster to make sure anaesthetics are properly regulated.
After the tragic death of a young woman undergoing a cosmetic procedure, people are rightly asking who should be able to administer anaesthetics.
A small number of people, who probably use other party drugs, use ketamine recreationally.
At higher doses ketamine is used to induce a trance-like state, sedate people with burns or other traumatic injuries, or as an anaesthetic to perform short operations.
Feeling tired or being unable to concentrate is common even days after surgery. But there are simple ways to help speed up your recovery.
Some people can feel drowsy or can't concentrate days after an operation. While it's easy to blame the anaesthetics, the real picture is usually more complicated.
General anaesthesia has come a long way since its first public demonstration in the 19th century, depicted here.
Wellcome Library, London/Wikimedia
Terrifying accounts of surgery 200 years ago remind us how far general anaesthesia has come. Yet we still know little about how anaesthetics alter consciousness.
An epidural takes up to 45 minutes to work, so if the baby’s coming it could be too late.
Epidurals were developed for pregnant women to address the severe pain of labour. In Australia approximately one in three pregnant women in labour has an epidural for pain relief.
Doctors currently have no perfectly reliable way of ensuring patients are adequately unconscious before an operation begins.
Measuring certain kinds of brain activity may help doctors track and predict how patients will react to anaesthesia before going under for surgery, our research has found.
Designed for other uses.
Phil and Pam
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Or would you rather be awake?
Going under a general anaesthetic usually involves sensory checks such as getting you to count down as you lose consciousness…