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Your child has been advised general anesthesia

Your child has been advised general anesthesia

What is a general anesthetic?

A general anesthetic is a mix of medicines that puts your child into a deep sleep. While in this deep sleep your child will not feel any pain. You may also hear general anesthetic being called sleep medicine.

How will we give your child the anesthetic?

We will give your child the anesthetic in 1 of 2 ways. We may give your child the anesthetic through a small tube in a vein called an intravenous route or we may give your child the anesthetic through a face mask. . If your child is very nervous, we may give your child some medicine to swallow before giving the anesthetic. This medicine will help calm your child down.

Who gives your child the anesthetic?

The doctor that gives your child the general anesthetic is called an anesthesiologist. You may also hear this doctor called an anesthetist.

During your child’s operation, test, or treatment, the anesthesiologist will check your child’s breathing, heartbeat, temperature, and blood pressure. Other doctors may help the anesthesiologist.

What can you feed your child before the anesthetic?

You must follow these feeding instructions to lessen your child’s chance of throwing up, which could hurt his or her lungs. If you do not follow these your child’s operation, test, or treatment will be delayed or cancelled.

  • No solid food from atleast 6 hours before the surgery:
    For example, if your child will be getting the anesthetic at 8:00 a.m., do
    not give him or her anything to eat after 1am.
  • No milk.
  • No orange juice.
  • Up to 3 hours before the anesthetic: Give your child clear liquids only.
    Examples of clear liquids are apple juice, water and lemon juice
    For example, if your child is getting the anesthetic at 12 noon, stop giving
    clear liquids at 9:00 am.
  • From 3 hours before the anesthetic until after your child wakes up: Your child cannot have anything to eat, not even gum or candy. Your child also cannot have anything to drink, not even a sip of water. For example, if your child is getting the anesthetic at 3:00 p.m., he or she cannot have anything to eat or drink after 12 noon.
  • If your child is breastfeeding: Stop giving your child breast milk 4 hours before the anesthetic.
    For example, if your child is getting the anesthetic at 2:00 p.m., stop
    breastfeeding at 10:00 am.
  • If your child needs to take prescription medicine, please talk to your child’s doctor before giving the medicine.

How can I help my child be less nervous?

To help your child feel less nervous, explain what will happen in simple words that he or she will understand. If your child knows what to expect before coming to the hospital, he or she will be better able to deal with the operation, test, or treatment.

The hospital also offers a program for children between ages 3 and 12 to prepare them for an operation. This program is called the ‘Friendly Hospital Program’. You child will get to play with stethoscopes, hospital gowns, masks, hats, and other hospital things. Please call the hospital to inquire about the same.

When should you call your child’s doctor?

To reduce the chance of any problems, your child needs to be as healthy as possible before getting an anesthetic. lf your child has any of these problems the day before or on the day of the operation, test, or treatment, call your child’s doctor right away:
Fever
Wheezing
Cough
Very runny nose
Feeling unwell

What should you do if you have questions?

On the day of your child’s operation, test, or treatment, your child’s anesthesiologist will meet with you to answer your questions and talk about your concerns. If you have questions before that day, you are welcome to come to the clinic to meet with the concerned doctors.

Are there any possible side effects from an anesthetic?

Yes, your child may have side effects, or problems, after an anesthetic. For example, your child may feel dizzy, grumpy, have a sore throat and cough, or feel sick to the stomach. These types of side effects are usually minor.

Your child may throw up after his or her operation, teat, or treatment. lf this happens, your child will get liquids and a medicine through a tube in a vein to help him or her stop throwing up.

There is a very very small chance that your child may have a serious problem during or after an anesthetic. The serious problems may include an allergic reaction to a drug, brain injury, or a cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest means that the heart has stopped beating. The anesthesiologist will watch your child very closely and will be ready to deal with these problems. lf your child has a serious problem during or after the anesthetic he or she may have to stay at the hospital longer.

Where will your child go after his or her operation, test, or treatment?

Your child will go recovery area. The nurses will check your child’s breathing, heartbeat, temperature, and blood pressure regularly.

Your child will wake up soon after his or her operation, test, or treatment.

You may be with your child as soon as he or she wakes up.

What if your child has pain after the operation, test, or treatment?

If your child has pain, he or she will be given medicine for the pain. Your child may also get a medicine through a needle to freeze a part of your child’s body so he or she will not feel any pain there. This is done before your child wakes up from the general anesthetic.