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What is intensive care anesthesia?

In critical care medicine, anesthesia can provide an optimal level of pain management, which is important for your complete recovery. At Northwell Health, palliative care physicians partner with anesthesiologists to help relieve your pain, as part of the focus on improving your overall health and well-being.

Types of intensive care anesthesia

Along with your palliative care services, the team incorporates anesthesia techniques, including the following:

  • Epidural analgesia – Injection of a local anesthetic
  • Intravenous patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) – You control the level of pain medication you receive through a computerized pump connected to your IV line
  • Continuous peripheral nerve blocks – Infusion of an anesthetic to continuously block pain signals from a targeted nerve 

The physicians at Northwell Health see patients with many types of severe acute and chronic pain. Medications and other methods of palliative care may not provide adequate relief for severe pain. You may need an anesthetic treatment to address your symptoms for conditions including:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other lung diseases
  • Kidney failure
  • AIDS
  • Cystic fibrosis


The anesthesia team members all have extensive training and experience, some in critical care and palliative care as well. You can rely on the team and their multidisciplinary approach for:

  • Individualized anesthetic treatments that maximize your comfort and safety
  • Palliative care that is coordinated with your physician or surgeon to enhance your recovery
  • Board-certified anesthesiologists in many specialties including cancer, cardiovascular and pain management
  • Certified support team of registered nurses, nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants