Anesthesiology, anaesthesia or anaesthetics is the medical speciality that focuses on perioperative medicine and the administration of anesthesia.
One of the fundamental practices of anesthesiologists is that of general anesthesia in which a person is placed in a medical coma. This is performed to permit surgery without the individual responding to pain (analgesia) during surgery or remembering the surgery.
If general anesthesia is not necessary, then regional anesthesia can be performed to induce analgesia in a region of the body. For example, epidural administration of a local anesthetic is commonly performed on the mother during childbirth to reduce the pain while permitting the mother to be awake and active in labor& delivery (general anesthesia would not permit this).
Anesthesiologists often also undertake non-surgical pain relief and critical care management that includes working in an intensive care unit.