Anesthesia and Pain Management for Surgical Patients, Women in Labor and Children

At Bridgeport Hospital, we want to make your stay as comfortable and pain-free as possible.

Our highly trained physician anesthesiologists and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) have a wide range of anesthetics and pain medications at their fingertips, plus state-of-the-art monitoring and anesthetic technology. With these tools and techniques, they care for a variety of patients, including surgical patients, women in labor, and children.

To begin with, here are a few definitions that can help you understand pain-control techniques.

Anesthesia involves loss of feeling and may involve loss of consciousness.

Analgesia blocks the pain, but does not involve loss of consciousness.

Sedation makes you relaxed and drowsy, but not unconscious. You may or may not fall asleep while sedated. Sedation can be mild, moderate or deep, depending on need. Patients who are deeply sedated do not remember and are not awake.

IV (intravenous) medications are delivered directly into the vein through a thin plastic catheter or tube.

Here are the most commonly used types of pain relief:

General Anesthesia: Temporarily makes you unconscious so that you can not feel any pain. A combination of inhaled and IV agents, it can be used for all operations.

Regional Anesthesia: Blocks pain signals from the part of the body where the procedure is being performed. Can only be used for certain regions-the lower body or an arm, for instance.

Monitored Anesthesia Care with Sedation: A local anesthetic is administered, blocking pain to a small area. At the same time, your anesthesia provider monitors you closely while giving you potent sedatives, narcotic pain medicines, and other medications as needed for your care, to prevent anxiety, and to make you comfortable.

Before deciding on the most appropriate form of anesthesia or analgesia, anesthesia staff will review your medical history and briefly examine you. Other factors include the type and length of the procedure, your primary physician's or surgeon's preferences, and your own preferences.

For information, please call the Department of Anesthesiology at 203-384-3463.