The use of intra-operative analgesia aims to improve maintenance of anaesthesia, both for the patient, stabilising depth and also for the anaesthetist, minimising sudden changes in patient status. Patient responses to sympathetic stimulation during anaesthesia often suggest inadequate analgesia provision and providing a solution to this problem normally lies beyond just turning up the vaporiser.
There are many options available for ‘topping up’ analgesia during maintenance of anaesthesia with an inhalational agent. We will discuss these options, looking at which drugs are useful in the intra-operative setting, routes and ways to administer them and most importantly, other signs to look out for associated with their use.
• What signs may suggest inadequate analgesia provision?
• Which analgesics can be given intra-operatively?
• What methods can be used to administer intra-operative analgesia?