Is Anesthesia safe for kids? U.S. doctors’ group says yes

Long-term effects of anesthesia especially on toddlers and infants are still under investigation. (image by mliu92)

A group of doctors from the Committee on Pediatric Anesthesia at the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) in the U.S. assured parents that administering anesthesia to children is totally safe and can help ease the pain of young patients.

Dr. Randall Flick, the chair of ASA emphasized the importance of this medication, “Particularly in infants and toddlers”, and that, “surgery is only recommended when necessary for the child’s health, so parents should not avoid an important procedure out of fear”.

ASA in a recent news release listed down important details that anesthesiologists should know about a child patient before surgery, and that parents should be mindful enough to ask the essential questions.

Included in the report suggests that parents should provide the attending doctor with the child’s medical history to watch out for allergies or cases of asthma. In addition, it is important to inform the physician if the child had a bad reaction to anesthesia in previous occasions.

One key point reminds parents that before the surgery, it is advisable that the anesthesiologist should be aware of the detailed list of the child’s medications such as over-the-counter medicines and vitamins. Parents should know if these medications should be stopped in preparation for a surgery and for how long.

The report also further confirmed that overall, anesthesia is very safe. Parents should be reminded that risks related with this medication only depends on specific variables such as the complexity and status of the child’s health issues as well as their age and the urgency of the surgery.

However, the group admitted that the long-term effects of anesthesia especially on younger patients like toddlers and infants are still under investigation.

Nonetheless, Flick guaranteed that, “Physician anesthesiologists have completed years of special training to ensure safe, high-quality care, which should set parents’ minds at ease.”

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