Anesthesia and sedation for children is safer than it has ever been, thanks to advances in clinician training as well as safer medications. Anesthesia and sedation make it possible for sick babies, children and teens to undergo complex surgical and diagnostic procedures. A pediatric anesthesiologist is a doctor who specializes in anesthesia care for children during surgery and other procedures. Why should you ask your provider if a pediatric anesthesiology team will care for your child during a procedure or test?
Pediatric anesthesiologists have specialized training to care for kids with the most complex conditions
Children aren’t tiny adults — they need specialized care tailored to their needs and comfort. There is a reason why pediatric anesthesiology is its own specialty, and why it takes extra training to become a pediatric anesthesiologist. Pediatric anesthesiologists have been trained to administer pediatric-specific sedatives and anesthesia in child-specific dosing to ensure your child is comfortable and safe during a test or procedure.Children cared for by board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists have better outcomes and a lower incidence of adverse events compared with children cared for by the more typical anesthesia caregiver team, according to the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
When would my child need a pediatric anesthesiologist?
Many different procedures require your child to stay still or may cause discomfort if no anesthesia is used. Your child will need to be asleep for most types of surgery done in the operating room. A child may or may not need to be completely “asleep” for some procedures done outside of an operating room. A pediatric anesthesiologist can evaluate a child to decide the safest anesthesia based on the child’s needs and the procedure.
Children may require anesthesia for procedures and tests such as:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan
- Ear, nose and throat procedures (ear tubes, tonsillectomy, etc.)
- General surgery
- Hand surgery
- Heart surgery
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Neonatal surgery
- Orthopedic surgery
- Ophthalmology (eye muscle surgery, etc.)
- Plastic surgery
- Urology procedures (circumcision, etc.)
- Spine surgery
Anesthesiology at Norton Children’s
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Pediatric anesthesiologists also have extensive subspecialty training to care for children undergoing the most complex medical procedures, including:
- Complicated reconstructive surgery
- Congenital heart disease
- Congenital brain and spinal cord conditions
- Heart transplants
- Kidney transplants
Pediatric anesthesiology care at Norton Children’s
Pediatric anesthesiologists with Norton Children’s offer care for the tiniest of babies experiencing complex, congenital conditions, as well as for children and teens having simpler procedures, such as ear tubes or tonsillectomies.
Norton Children’s has playrooms, child life therapists and child-specific premedication plans for all the children receiving care at Norton Children’s Hospital. We have child-friendly sedation suites and specialized pediatric equipment. Not only does this make a child’s medical experience more pleasant, it can actually improve patient outcomes and lower complication rates. Anesthesia care with Norton Children’s includes:
- Pediatric anesthesiologists who provide anesthesia for neonatal surgery; general surgery; spine and orthopedic surgery; neurosurgery; and ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgery daily
- Several pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists with subspecialized training to care for children having heart surgery
- Child-friendly sedation suites available at Norton Children’s Hospital and Norton Children’s Medical Center for a variety of tests and procedures
- Specially trained pediatric sedation teams led by a pediatric anesthesiologist, including a sedation nurse and pediatric-certified registered nurse anesthetists