Children’s bodies are different than adults’. Their hearts beat faster and their lungs operate at a different speed. Their throats are smaller and sometimes more sensitive. They respond more quickly to medication and their body temperatures change more rapidly. Because their bodies are still growing, they sometimes require different kinds, amounts, or combinations of medications. And children come in all different sizes, from the smallest newborn to adult-sized adolescents, which means physicians must be skilled in using every possible size of breathing tubes, surgical instruments, and other medical equipment.
Those are just some of the reasons why, at Children’s, your child’s anesthesia is managed by an experienced pediatric anesthesiologist. Including medical school, internships, residencies, fellowships, and special pediatric training, each pediatric anesthesiologist at Children’s has spent a minimum of eight years training to care for your child. At Children’s:
- Parents can be involved. Whenever safely possible, parents can be present when anesthesia is administered. This sometimes helps minimize a child’s anxiety.
- The environment is calming and supportive. After your child chooses a “flavor” of anesthesia (ranging from strawberry to watermelon to cookie dough), s/he receives anesthesia in the operating room or a comfortable room with twinkling lights. Before the anesthesia begins, a child life specialist uses developmentally appropriate techniques to make sure your child understands what will happen before, during, and after surgery.
- Expertise is available beyond surgery. Pediatric anesthesiologists are available to be part of the medical team that helps manage your child’s post-surgery pain. And pediatric anesthesiologists are involved in making other invasive procedures, such as bone marrow biopsies and lumbar punctures, more comfortable through the use of anesthesia or sedation.
- Children with special needs are our specialty. Every day, the pediatric anesthesia team works with children with disabilities, complicated medical histories, chronic health conditions, developmental delays, and other issues that can make surgery and anesthesia more challenging.
The pediatric anesthesia team administers all types of anesthesia, including general anesthesia, regional anesthesia (epidural, spinal, or extremity nerve blocks) and intravenous sedation with techniques tailored specifically to the individual child.
If you are a physician with a question, a request for consultation, or if you’d like to schedule an anesthesiologist for a procedure, please call one the following phone numbers:
Children’s – Minneapolis
Children’s - St. Paul
Children’s - Minnetonka