Advertisement

How does pediatric anesthesiology differ from adult anesthesiology?

Dr. Anita Gupta
Anesthesiology
While both children and adults undergo various forms of anesthesia (local, regional, and general) for medical procedures, there are some differences in technique. Physically, a child’s weight and size is less than that of an adult. To avoid complications, a pediatric anesthesiologist is trained in using proper equipment to manage the child’s airway, supplemented with knowledge of the patient’s development, age, and size. Because children are anxious and energetic, a child may be given anesthesia for a procedure an adult would not need anesthesia for, such as diagnostic tests. While an adult would need local anesthesia or pain blocks for a procedure that is not as invasive, a child might need full anesthesia to prevent anxiety, keep him or her asleep, minimize pain, relax muscles, and block out the memory of surgery. It is essential for the anesthesiologist to constantly monitor the medication given to the child and ensure he or she is receiving the right dose because doses differ among children and adults. The values for heart rate, blood pressure, and urine output also differ between children and adults and are monitored during and after surgery to ensure optimal care. 

Although adult and pediatric anesthesiology is influenced by weight, it is critical for pediatric anesthesiologists to precisely dose medications by a child's weight. Additionally, there are structural differences between adults and children that influence airway management, treatment, and complications.  

Continue Learning about Anesthesia for Surgical Procedures

What kind of anesthesia will I get for thyroid surgery?
American Association of Endocrine SurgeonsAmerican Association of Endocrine Surgeons
Most thyroid operations are performed under general anesthesia, which means you will be totally asle...
More Answers
What job does an anesthesiologist perform during surgery?
American Society of AnesthesiologistsAmerican Society of Anesthesiologists
During surgery, your anesthesiologist is responsible for managing vital life functions, including br...
More Answers
Why should I be put under general anesthesia for liposuction surgery?
Stuart A. Linder, MDStuart A. Linder, MD
For major liposuction cases, I use general anesthesia, and the patient is completely put to slee...
More Answers
How long can I stay under anesthesia during plastic surgery?
Stuart A. Linder, MDStuart A. Linder, MD
There has been much controversy as to the increased risk associated with remaining under general...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.