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Safe Anesthesia for Children

Parents don't routinely choose their child's anesthesiologist, but as a parent, you can choose the hospital where the anesthesiologist and the entire surgical team are most prepared to care for your child. At Children's Hospital, the anesthesia team spends each day caring only for infants, children and adolescents.

What Is A Pediatric Anesthesiologist?

A pediatric anesthesiologist is a doctor who specializes in taking care of children during surgery and other procedures. Many different types of procedures require children to stay still, or the procedure may cause discomfort if no anesthesia is used. An anesthesiologist can combine the right types of medicine to make sure a child having a procedure is comfortable and pain free. Children may not need to be all the way “asleep” for some procedures. However, children will need to be asleep for most procedures done in an operating room. Prior to surgery, pediatric anesthesiologists evaluate each patient and make the best decision for his or her care.

The Anesthesia Process

Anesthesia team members typically meet patients and families on the day of surgery. An anesthesia team member is someone who helps the patient go to “sleep”. They can be either a physician anesthesiologist or a certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA). They will ask questions and do a routine examine before the procedure. They will go over how the process works and answer any questions you may have.

Your child may require anesthesia for procedures such as:

  • Ear tubes
  • Tonsillectomies
  • Appendectomies
  • Broken bones
  • Brain surgery
  • Spinal fusions

Major operations happen at our hospital almost every day, and the pediatric anesthesia team is involved in all of them. Patients range in age and size from premature infants that barely weigh a pound to teenagers and young adults who may weigh several hundred pounds. Regardless of the patient’s body type, our team is experienced and knowledgeable in how much sedative they will require.

In The Operating Room

Pediatric anesthesiologists may be involved in sedating children for many different procedures outside of the operating room. For instance, many children cannot lie still or cooperate enough to have a CT scan or a MRI. Bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures are procedures that young patients may have to endure and can cause discomfort.

Our anesthesiologists also help many chronically ill children with palliative care needs manage their pain on a daily basis. Techniques such as massage and the use of essential oils have helped many patients.

We also help manage acute pain either directly post-operation or later during the patient's stay in the hospital.

Why Choose Us?

Our pediatric anesthesiologists treat children from newborn to teenagers and beyond. They are experienced in the special needs of children (and their families) at all ages. Our goal is to make the hospital experience as pleasant as possible, to manage a child's anxiety before a procedure and to control pain during and after surgery.

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