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  • Print publication year: 2006
  • Online publication date: September 2009

20 - Anaesthesia for paediatric surgery


This chapter covers selected topics which illustrate the basis for modern general paediatric anaesthesia practices. Many paediatric procedures can be undertaken on a day case basis which has tremendous benefits for children and families. Clear written, verbal and pictorial information concerning fasting, surgery, anaesthesia, analgesia and postoperative care are an essential part of obtaining informed consent from parents and children. The use of topical local anaesthesia of the skin with EMLA cream or amethocaine gel allows painless venous access after 60 and 45 minutes. Sevoflurane is now the most often used agent for induction in children because it is more pleasant and less irritant than other volatile agents. Regional anaesthesia produces excellent postoperative analgesia and attenuation of the stress response in infants and children. Although formal evidence-based systematic reviews or meta-analyses are relatively few, there is now a fairly robust basis for modern paediatric anaesthesia techniques and practices.