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Ambulatory anesthetic care in children undergoing myringotomy and tube placement: current perspectives

Authors Robinson H, Engelhardt T

Received 13 December 2016

Accepted for publication 15 March 2017

Published 19 April 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 41—49

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/LRA.S113591

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Stefan Wirz


Hal Robinson, Thomas Engelhardt

Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Aberdeen, UK

Purpose: Myringotomy and tube placement is one of the most frequently performed ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeries in the pediatric population. Effective anesthetic management is vital to ensuring successful ambulatory care and ensuring child and parental satisfaction.
Recent findings: This review summarizes recently published studies about the long-term effects of general anesthesia in young children, novel approaches to preoperative fasting and simplified approaches to the assessment and management of emergence delirium (ED) and emergence agitation (EA). New developments in perioperative ambulatory care, including management of comorbidities and day care unit logistics, are discussed.
Summary: Long-term follow-up of children exposed to general anesthesia before the age of 4 years has limited impact on academic achievement or cognitive performance and should not delay the treatment of common ENT pathology, which can impair speech and language development. A more liberal approach to fasting, employing a 6–4–0 regime allowing children fluids up until theater, may become an accepted practice in future. ED and EA should be discriminated from pain in recovery and, where the child is at risk of harm, should be treated promptly. Postoperative pain at home remains problematic in ambulatory surgery and better parental education is needed. Effective ambulatory care ultimately requires a well-coordinated team approach from effective preassessment to postoperative follow-up.

Keywords: myringotomy, ventilation tubes, anesthesia, pediatrics, ambulatory, day case

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