Guidelines for Children Receiving Anesthesia

Dr. Swiderski and his staff are concerned with many aspects of your childs care. The goal is to provide a safe and comfortable environment, making the experience as pleasant as possible. They are uniquely educated and trained in anesthesia to assure the optimal safety and well-being of your child.

Along with the efforts of the surgical staff, you as a parent also have a key role in your childs care. It is well known that children do better with anesthesia and surgery when they are well-prepared. This can begin as soon as a decision is made regarding surgery. It is natural to have fears of the unknown. It is our desire to provide comfort and information to improve your childs experience.

The consultation appointment is the opportunity for you and your child to learn about and grow comfortable with this experience. Once you learn what will happen you will gain confidence and be better able to talk calmly and honestly with your child. An opportunity will be provided for you to familiarize yourself with our clinic and staff and to learn about options for your childs anesthetic. It is also important for the child to know that you may not be with them every minute, but will be waiting nearby. An informed and composed parent is essential for an optimal surgical experience for the child.

At your initial consultation your childs medical history, including anesthesia history, is obtained and an examination is performed. The anesthesia and surgical procedures will be thoroughly explained. In the event of minor illnesses such as sniffles and colds, inform our office for an assessment. Surgery may need to be rescheduled.

Sedation, medications and any special instructions will be discussed at the initial consultation. The protocol for monitoring your childs anesthesia is thorough and includes: heart (EKG) and lung monitoring, blood pressure/pulse readings and blood oxygen saturation levels. Induction of anesthesia can be done several ways. In adults, an intravenous injection is commonly used and the state of anesthesia begins rapidly. For children, this method can be used or the child can breathe the anesthetic agents. Your child will be informed of these choices and their preferences respected. Once asleep the anesthetic medications will be given intravenously. The patient is breathing oxygen continuously until fully awakened. Children and adults awaken from anesthesia at different rates and emotional levels. The surgical site will be numb from a local anesthetic. Nausea and vomiting are occasional side effects of anesthetics and surgery.

Following surgery, parents join the child in the recovery area. Your assistance is necessary in providing ongoing emotional comfort and support. Instructions will be given and your child discharged when specific criteria are met. Arrangements for follow-up care will be made if needed. Our staff calls each surgical patient later in the day.