It is normal that both children and parents are scared about medical intervention. To this, you can add the fear of anesthesia, and things start to get difficult.
Specialists with extensive knowledge and experience in Pediatric Anesthesia must always have the intention to work along with children and parents to overcome or diminish their fears and anxiety on this procedure, to make sure they find the relief they need.
The previous fact does not mean Doctors will tell parents that anesthesia is 100 percent safe and that there is nothing to worry about. In this pre-operatory scenario, specialists must be sincere, professional and sensitive at the same time.
How to Handle Children’s Fear to Anesthesia As An Anesthesiologist?
The first thing an anesthesiologist should do is manifest a friendly approach to the children and show them the anesthesia mask or needle. Explain to them what that device is for, how it will act in their body and what will happen afterward.
Try to use a vocabulary that is appropriate for their age and that they can understand. You may even let the kids touch the device you will use for anesthesia if this seems to help.
Some anesthesiologists also prescribe medications to help children relax, in case they are feeling too anxious, they are too young to comprehend, or they are too scared to listen to the doctor. With the help of their parents, children should be able to calm down to some point where they will listen, so do not hesitate to prescribe meds without trying first.
Remember that children and adults are different. While children are often scared by the instrument, parents are afraid of by the general procedure (the anesthesia itself and the operation), so work each aspect with each one of them to help them feel comfortable.
Even if it depends on the child’s age and maturity, most of the little children feel more comfortable with sedation through inhalation than with needles, due to the physical pain that the latest may imply.
Working with bright colored anesthesia masks allow children to breathe at a regulated pace to fall asleep with oxygen, nitrous oxide, and anesthesia gas; adding lovely scents to the gas to please the senses of the child before falling asleep.
However, in cases of older children, it is better to induce sedation via intravenous, because it is more efficient and faster than gas masks. If intravenous is not possible or the child is too anxious, then it is better to opt for the mask as a secondary option.
Diminishing anxiety prior surgery
Sedating the child before anesthesia is more common than people think. But, this does not mean it is the best choice. They could offer you pills, nasal or intravenous or intramuscular solutions to help the child relax and calm down, so it is easier to work with them.
In any case, some children do not need this type of medication at all, only listening and calming down, relaxing and letting the doctors do what they need to do to help them fall asleep with the anesthesia.
Children usually recover very quickly from anesthesia and become fully awake faster than adults. Also, children have a better pain endurance than adults, and will probably need fewer pain medicines.
Always ask your doctor and the anesthesiologist about any doubts you may have. There are never too many questions when it comes to health and children.