What are the effects of anesthesia on the heart?

It is important to note that anesthetics are considered as medications that are specifically structured for pain management. General anesthesia is usually produced by combining anesthetics including inhaled gases and intravenous drugs. In most cases, general anesthesia brings on deep sleep and commonly used during surgical procedures.

The vital signs of the individual are carefully monitored while under this type of anesthesia. In some cases, regional anesthesia is used to anesthetize large regions of the body such as the legs and arms. This type of anesthesia does not instigate deep sleep but can cause tiredness. Even though the different types of anesthesia are considered safe at the present, it is important to note that they might involve certain risks and can cause effects on the heart. By enrolling in a first aid course, you can learn the different types of anesthesia and their effects.


The heart attack triggered by anesthesia usually occurs among those who have a current heart condition or has a history of heart attacks.


General anesthesia can trigger the heartbeat to become erratic. An irregular heartbeat is called as arrhythmia which is a condition that occurs since the blood flow is inadequate to comply with the requirements of the body. This will cause the heart to beat irregularly as it attempts to adjust to compensate. Nevertheless, the interaction between anesthesia and other medications can affect the regularity of the heart rate. With this in mind, any medications or conditions that can interact with anesthesia should be carefully discussed with the doctor.

Myocardial infarction

It is important to note that anesthesia can lead to myocardial infarction. The effect is not quite common. The heart attack triggered by anesthesia usually occurs among those who have a current heart condition or has a history of heart attacks. The individual should disclose his/her medical history or heart conditions before surgery to help the doctor take the necessary precautions to reduce the risk for myocardial infarction. The best way to help out an individual suspected of suffering from a heart attack is to take the appropriate first aid measures to prevent the condition from worsening.

Tachycardia and low blood pressure

Anesthesia can cause the blood pressure to decrease drastically especially when an allergic reaction occurs. The drop in the blood pressure causes the heart to beat at a faster rate which is called as tachycardia as a way to compensate for the reduced pressure. Take note that the increased heart rate and low blood pressure can lead to serious consequences if not stabilized.

Improved cardiac functioning and pain management

When regional anesthesia is used, particularly spinal anesthesia, it can help improve the heart function. Based on latest studies, it was discovered that spinal anesthesia can reduce hypertension and increase the contractions of the heart muscles. This effect is observed when the spinal anesthesia is used along with general anesthesia. The continuous usage of spinal anesthesia after surgery can help minimize the pain experiencing in the heart region.