Who Killed Aunt Elda?
In this lab, we are attempting to find the concentration of Anesthesia used during an appendix transplant on Aunt Elda, who died during the procedure. There are questions about if the anesthesia was her cause of death and these statistics will show the truth.
Information On Anesthesia
Anesthesia is a substance that works on the molecular level to block neural pain signals to the brain. It can be used to soothe minor pain but can also render a patient unconscious to avoid any pain, there are 3 types, each of them varying in strength and concentration. Local anesthetics numb small areas or one part of the body, they allow the person to stay alert and awake, these are substances such as lotions or ointments. Regional anesthetics will numb larger areas on the body and is frequently used during child birth. General Anesthetics are the most powerful of the three, they will render a patient fully unconscious and the patient will most likely not remember the procedure when they awake, one of the most well known general anesthetics is Nitrous Oxide otherwise known as laughing gas. The concentration of the anesthetic also plays a role in how powerful or effective any of these pain killers will be.
To determine the concentration of anesthesia used on Aunt Elda, we compared it to known solutions of 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, and 100% anesthesia. These solutions are made by comparing the amount of water to the amount of anesthesia, for example, a 10% solution uses 1 part anesthesia to 9 parts water. We were able to graph these concentrations using a Colorimeter, a device that measures light absorbance through liquid. And cuvettes, small rectangular beakers, with each solution inside to be put inside the colorimeter.
To begin the process, we filled each cuvette with its respective concentration of anesthesia. We then set up the colorimeter and connected it to the computer through the system Logger Pro, which graphs and calculates the amount of absorbance in each cuvette. We tested each solution in the order of lowest to highest concentration, each one growing progressively more light absorbent. Once we tested each percentage, we tested the unknown concentration that was used on Aunt Elda.
After seeing the results provided by our colorimeter, we concluded that the concentration of the anesthesia used on our Aunt Elda was 53%. This information proves that the amount of anesthesia was not the cause of death in her procedure.