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How does anesthesia work? - Steven Zheng


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When under anesthesia, you can’t move, form memories, or — hopefully — feel pain. And while it might just seem like you are asleep for that time, you actually aren’t. What’s going on? Steven Zheng explains what we know about the science behind anesthesia.

Additional Resources for you to Explore

Want to know a bit more about anesthesia? Visit: How Stuff Works to find answers to those questions you might have. Scientific American also has a great article about anesthesia: How Does Anesthesia Work? Then watch this quick video from Ask Smithsonian.

Interested in a career as an anesthesiologist? Visit this site to find out more about exactly what they do! Below are five resources available to medical students or medical residents. The titles provided are for books that are recommended. The bronchoscopy and TEE website are highly recommended links to take a look at before starting a CT anesthesia rotation.

Miller, Ronald D., and Manuel Pardo. Basics of Anesthesia. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders, 2011. Print. Barash, Paul G. Clinical Anesthesia. 5th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006. Print. Butterworth, John F., and David C. Mackey. Morgan & Mikhail's Clinical Anesthesiology. 5th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2013. Print.

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TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Steven Zheng
  • Script Editor Eleanor Nelsen
  • Producer Zedem Media
  • Director Michael Kalopaidis
  • Artist Jeanne Bornet
  • Sound Designer Andreas Trachonitis
  • Animator Maria Savva
  • Intern Andria Pourouti
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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