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Get to know the Doctors of Cape Anaesthetics

Paediatrics

At Cape Anaesthetics Inc. our specialist Anaesthesiologists are highly skilled in ensuring that your child or baby is specially cared for and comforted throughout their surgery and Anaesthesia.

The peri operative period of a child’s surgery can be very stressful for the whole family and we recognize that it poses a number of concerns for both our little patient as well as you as their parent.

Please read this information carefully as it aims to reassure and better inform you of what can be expected peri operatively, as well as how best to prepare for their Anaesthesia.

Please ensure you are available to provide a comprehensive background history of your child or baby regarding the following:

*Any complications during pregnancy or their delivery, their developmental milestones, vaccinations, any difficulties in feeding or growth, hospital admissions, complications or necessary interventions. Please bring the clinic card from their delivery if you still have it.

*Family history and sibling’s history of medical conditions, reactions to Anaesthesia or traumatic experiences with surgery/Anaesthesia and any allergies. Also, if your child or baby is adopted, or a Jehova’s Witness please inform your Anaesthetist.

*Basic medical and surgical history of the child, especially acute or chronic medications, and recent infections. Please inform your Anaesthesiologist if your child is unable to swallow syrups or if you do not want them to receive suppository medication.

Please take special note of the following:

*Starvation guidelines:
It is very important that your child or baby has an empty stomach at the time of an elective Anaesthetic. For this reason, we require that the following guidelines are strictly adhered to so that we can avoid the severe complications that can occur:

Solid food, fizzy drinks, milk and non-dairy milk – stop taking 6hrs before surgery.

Formula milk – stop feeding 6 hrs before surgery.

Breast milk – stop feeding 4hrs before surgery.

Clear fluids (with no sediment, milk or fizz), water, Energade/Powerade, clear apple juice – stop drinking 2hrs before surgery.

Please ensure though that your child or baby DOES continue to drink clear fluids UNTIL 2hrs before their surgery as this definitely eases the waiting period and shows benefit peri operatively. It is not advisable to leave any food or drinks with the child or within their reach preoperatively as they are not always able to exercise restraint!

*Consent: in children under 12yrs, only a legal guardian or a parent may give consent for elective Anaesthesia or surgery. However our laws state that children over 12yrs may now consent for themselves, provided they are mature enough to do so. Parental guidance or assent is required in this case but we encourage you to discuss the implications of consent with your teenager in the event that they are requested to sign their own consent.

*Post Operatively: your child or baby may sometimes be very disorientated and distressed when they wake up. If they are crying, it does not necessarily mean that they are experiencing pain but rather that they are just in a very unfamiliar environment and not quite awake yet to understand it. Your Anaesthesiologist will carefully assess your child before discharging them to the ward. We request that you please bring their milk/juice bottle to theatre as, usually, once they are fed and comfortably back with their parents, they settle down quickly. Please also bring a change of clothes for your little one.

*Parents’ role:
We encourage you to contact your child or baby’s Anaesthesiologist prior to the surgery should you have any further questions or concerns. Children usually take their cue from their parents and so the better informed you are, usually the more comfortable your child will be in an otherwise very foreign environment.
Please bring any of their favourite toys, books or digital media with them on the day of admission. This will keep them busy during what may be a long wait before surgery, as well as help to distract them from the starvation period.

We usually request that a parent, guardian or familiar adult accompany the child to theatre for moral support. Please reassure them of this, that they will not be alone and talk to them about the process if they need to ask questions. Once they are comfortably under Anaesthesia, you will be able to wait in their ward or just outside theatre where they will then be safely returned to you post operatively.

We wish all of our little patients, young adults and their families a safe journey in theatre!

Impact of Anaesthesia on Childhood Development.