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Anesthesia and Kids

Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 1:29 am Post subject: Anesthesia and Kids

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My son may have to have surgery to correct a foot problem. I have
read something that said that anesthesia is unsafe for children,
especially those who are fair skinned, blonde hair and blue eyes, like my
son. Can you give me any information to confirm or disagree with these
statements? Thank you.

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doc
Guest

Posted: Wed May 04, 2005 3:00 am Post subject: pediatric anesthesia and safety and hair color

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As compared with twenty five years ago, anesthesia for adults and children is relatively much safer than it used to be. Pediatric anesthesia is always more worrisome to the parents, for obvious reasons, but no more dangerous or safe. See my column on "anesthesia and kids". As concerns skin types, nordic types/blonde blue eyed may have slightly higher incidence of a very rare anesthesia reaction called MH (malignant hyperthermia). If there was no family history of anesthesia problems, it would not be a worry, the incidence is often less than
1: 20000 to 1: 50000 depending on the statistics one looks at.

Im sure you've heard the new research about red-heads and their need for higher levels of anesthesia to obtain the same level of sleep.

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doc
Guest

Posted: Thu May 19, 2005 12:48 am Post subject: anesthesia for kids and children

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Here is a copy of an article found in our archives pertaining to anesthesia for children, risks and dangers, etc.

Ear-tube surgery or placement of "myringotomy" tubes is the most common surgery of childhood requiring anesthesia. A tiny hole is made in the eardrum through which a plastic tube is inserted. This allows drainage and prevents infection from building up behind the eardrum. The surgery takes only minutes, nonetheless, the patient must be fully asleep under general anesthesia. Herein lies the risk. Anesthesia in the United States is considered safe; however, there can be variability among providers and hospitals. Over twenty million anesthetics are delivered per year yet less than one in twenty-thousand have a serious reaction or problem with anesthesia. That said, the risk is not zero. Minor reactions and incidents may occur more commonly.

What can you do? Choose a reputable surgeon and discuss with him or her your child’s treatment plan and who their choice of anesthesiologist would be. It is particularly important to have an anesthesiologist with pediatric training and experience. You can request to meet your anesthesiologist beforehand or phone conference with them. Even email can be helpful to answer specific questions you may have.

A child’s recovery from anesthesia upon arrival home can be highly varied. It can range from “sleeping all day” to "wild and wooly" to anywhere in between. Should they wake in a hyperactive state, make sure they don’t hurt themselves--they will have clouded thinking and unsteady legs--so keep a much closer eye on them than usual. You can lower the incidence of post-op nausea by leaning toward a light/clear liquid diet and advance slowly. If you have more than one child at home, ask a friend or family member to come over and help out. Keep your list of hospital and provider phone numbers readily available should a question arise.

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