Anaesthesia in children

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anaesthesia-in-childrenAn article in the recent edition of Anesthesia Progess, the official publication of the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology, details an investigation into the adverse effects of anaesthesia in children that can occur after discharge from surgery. While the journal concedes that sedation is often necessary to keep children safe and calm during oral procedures, with oral sedatives the most commonly used, it worked with dental practitioners and the caregivers of children to find the most common lingering effects.

51 children who required dental treatment and were subsequently given a form of oral sedation—with more than 75 per cent of these sedations containing morphine—made up this study. Dentists completing the treatment rated each patient’s visit, while caregivers reported on how children felt and acted once discharged.

The authors report that, “In most cases, the dentist rated the visits as fair to excellent, indicating that morphine, one of the primary drugs used in the study with other sedatives, may be a promising medication for pediatric dental sedation. But given the frequent complications reported and the amount of time it took some children to recover, dentists should emphasise the need to properly care for and monitor young patients at home after dental surgery.”

First author Annie Huang notes, “The findings of this study strongly support the importance of proper post-operative instructions to the patient’s caregiver, including possible complications and the necessity of careful vigilance of the child until recovery is complete.”

The full text, Oral Sedation Postdischarge Adverse Events in Pediatric Dental Patients, can be read here. Note: American spelling of anaesthesia maintained.

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