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Neuromuscular transmission (NMT) is the transfer of an impulse between a nerve and a muscle in the neuromuscular junction. NMT can be blocked by neuromuscular blocking agents – drugs that cause transient muscle relaxation and prevent the patient from moving and breathing spontaneously. Muscle relaxation is used during general anesthesia to enable endotracheal intubation and to provide the surgeon with optimal working conditions.
The level of neuromuscular block is routinely measured manually by stimulating a peripheral nerve and subjectively evaluating the muscle response. Despite this, many patients arrive in the PACU with residual paralysis. GE Healthcare offers the NMT module, which provides quantitative, automatic measurements of muscle response to stimulus and the level of block. This objective measurement can help safely time extubation and avoid residual paralysis.
This GE Healthcare Quick Guide describes how to use the NMT module with two types of GE sensors: The MechanoSensor, which measures the motion of the thumb with a piezoelectric sensor; and the ElectroSensor, which directly measures the electrical activity of the muscle with recording electrodes,quantifying the response to nerve stimulation. The advantages of the NMT module include:
- Automatic and hands-free operation
- Optimal anesthesia dosage based on individual patient needs
- Optimized recovery with decreased incidence of residual paralysis.
- Enhanced patient safety
- Fast patient throughput
- Integrated information; measured values displayed with all other monitored parameters.