Anaesthetics, critical care and pain

Anaesthesia is the largest medical speciality at SASH. The department of anaesthesia supports all surgical operations, plus 4,200 trauma cases per year and the delivery of 4,000-4,500 babies annually.  We also administer local anaesthesia to patients having cataract surgery in a special theatre on Limpsfield Ward.

We have a specially trained nurse who works with the anaesthetic team to insert long-term intravenous lines, known as PICC lines (peripherally inserted central catheters).  This allows patients to receive intravenous antibiotics, total parental nutrition and chemotherapy in their home.

Our anaesthetics team is renowned in the South East for its active teaching programme, providing theatre experience for trainee anaesthetists from the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Deanery.  We run a yearly regional anaesthesia course which attracts attendees from all grades across the UK  and the department of anaesthesia also runs the simulation centre at East Surrey Hospital which is used to train SASH junior doctors, nurses and clinical staff in a variety of crisis scenarios.

Emergency anaesthesia

The team runs a 24-hour emergency theatre, seven days a week, for patients requiring emergency surgery.  There is also a dedicated theatre for trauma patients every day.

Acute pain

The anaesthetic team provides ward-based epidurals and patient-controlled analgesia for patients with post-operative pain, supported by nursing and pharmacy staff.

Obstetric anaesthesia

We have a team of consultant anaesthetists with a special interest in obstetric anaesthesia and analgesics (pain relief).  The dedicated obstetric theatre is adjacent to the Delivery Suite, but part of the main theatre complex. The anaesthetists offer a 24-hour epidural service for pain relief, including a patient-controlled analgesia, using the drug Remifentanil, for patients giving birth who can’t have, or don’t want, an epidural.

The specialist obstetric anaesthesia consultants run three clinics a month at East Surrey Hospital for mothers-to-be with high-risk pregnancy, where the options for pain relief and anaesthesia can be discussed.  Referrals come from the midwives and obstetricians.

The Delivery Suite at East Surrey Hospital also has a high dependency unit for women with a complicated pregnancy.  This is jointly managed by obstetricians, midwives and the anaesthetics team.

Contact information

Anaesthetic fax: 01737 231 886
Pain office: x1617
ICU: x6381/1670/1671

More information

Anaesthesia explained
You and your anaesthetic
General Anaesthesia
Local Anaesthesia

Useful websites

Royal College of Anaesthetists
Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland
Obstetric Anaesthetists’ Association