ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANTONIA REEVE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
General anaesthetic. Hand injecting a general anaesthetic into a patient's hand through a butterfly cannula. The butterfly is a thin sheet of plastic on the cannula which is laid flat against the skin so that the cannula can be taped in place. During general anaesthesia all sensation and muscle tone is lost, allowing an operation to be carried out without traumatising the patient. The cannula is usually left in place after the administration of the anaesthetic drug so that other drugs can be given rapidly if necessary.
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