Anesthesiologist Questions Anesthesiologist

How is general anesthesia given to kids?

My daughter will have surgery under general anesthesia. How is general anesthesia given to kids?

8 Answers

By breathing in or intravenous
General anesthesia is given to kids either by an inhaled gas or via IV if the child is old enough/cooperative enough to get an IV preoperatively.
By a specialized pediatric-trained anesthesiologist.
Depending how old she is (usually if less than 10-12 years old), you can go in the OR with her while she goes to sleep. If she is older, she can get an IV started in the holding area and then will get some medication to get her more relaxed before going to the OR. If she is younger, she can be given some syrup with the same medication, to relax her. When going in the OR, she will let herself get to sleep by breathing through a small mask getting the gases that will have her asleep. After she is asleep, you will be getting out of the OR. After being asleep, the team will start an IV and give her some medication through the IV. Depending on the surgery she may then get a breathing tube or a special mask above her voice box, called an LMA. She will then continue getting some anesthetic gases through the LMA or the breathing tube. Either one will come out at the end of the case, as she wakes up, but she will not remember that.
I hope this answers your question.
In younger children, general anesthesia may be initiated by a mask being held over the child’s face until she loses consciousness. At that time, an intravenous catheter is usually placed to allow administration of IV medication. A breathing tube or supraglottic airway may be placed at that time if the airway needs to be secured and if inhalational anesthetics will be used to keep the child asleep. Sedation may be given by mouth prior to separation from the parents. In older children who can tolerate an IV start, an intravenous catheter may be placed and the process is much like that of adult patients at that point. The anesthetic technique is formulated using the age, health, and size of the child. The type and location of surgery also affects the anesthesia plan. If you have specific concerns about your child, consult the surgeon and the anesthesia team prior to the time of surgery. Good luck!
Initially by inhalation, then an IV is placed. Usually they are given an oral sedative to help with separation anxiety prior to leaving parents.
For smaller children, breathing through a mask gets them off to sleep “Breathe like a jet pilot!” But if they are old enough to get an IV started while awake, they may be given medication through that. Depending on the surgery they may have a breathing tube or breathe through a mask. Your abestjediologist can give you more details.

From Christopher Creighton
I try always to start an IV access so induction could be easy done. If we couldn't start IV access, then inhalation by mask is selected. The goal is to make the experience less traumatic as possible. There is a local anesthesia, Emla, that helps with kids. Ask your doctor.