Pediatric Anesthesia Patients

Division of Pediatric Anesthesia

Pediatric Anesthesia

 Stony Brook University Hospital continues to evolve and expand in order to meet the demands of very active surgical programs – We are involved in 4,000 cases yearly (involving all pediatric subspecialties).
The Division of Pediatric Anesthesiology provides consultations and services for pediatric patients requiring elective and emergency surgery, anesthesia or sedation required for imaging (MRI and CT scans), interventional radiology and cardiology.
The Pediatric Anesthesiology division actively works with the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Staff and residents from the anesthesiology department provide comprehensive airway management expertise and consultations.

As parents become increasingly educated, the need for pediatric anesthesia practice has gained more recognition. Numerous medical studies have shown superior surgical outcomes when a pediatric anesthesiologist provides the anesthesia. At SBUH the Division of Pediatric Anesthesia has the following missions:
  • To promote the health, safety and well being of children who require anesthesia care, who are critically ill or injured or who suffer acute and chronic pain.
  • To provide pediatric anesthesia care that exceeds community standards.
  • To continuously improve the quality of care.
  • Teach and train the most capable and motivated individuals

Our Values: Honesty, Compassion, Safety.

The faculty members who sub-specialize in pediatric anesthesiology work in close collaboration with pediatric care givers of all subspecialties.
The surgeon initially evaluates children. There may be a referral for more detailed preoperative testing or evaluation by a member of the anesthesiology team.

Corresponding to the fasting guidelines, children who are having uncomplicated procedures and are otherwise quite healthy may often be seen the day of the surgery by the anesthesiology team. Attention is given to the child's overall condition, the specific procedure, any other disease processes or medicines being taken, the level of anxiety in the child (and parents). Pre-operative timing of when the child can eat normally, and when clear liquids such as water, apple juice, or soda may be taken a number of hours prior to the planned surgery may vary.

In many, but not all cases, a parent may accompany the child to the operating room for the anesthetic induction by face mask or intravenous administration. If a child is quite anxious, the planned surgery of sufficient length, and no contraindications present, an oral sedative just prior to surgery may greatly reduce anxiety in the child. As soon as the child is asleep, the parent will be escorted to the family waiting room. Following completion of the surgery, the child will be brought to the recovery room to awaken and rejoin the family.

sleepbaby.jpg The types of anesthesia that may be provided vary from light to heavy sedation, to general anesthesia induced by anesthetic gases or intravenous agents. At times, the placement of a regional anesthetic by placement of needle or catheter to inject local anesthetics may provide complete relief of pain post-operatively in addition to reducing the amount of other anesthetics that must be provided to maintain the child unconscious or deeply sedated during the procedure.
Post-operatively, attention to treatment of the child's pain is important to reduce anxiety and facilitate interactions with the family. As in preparation for surgery and during the surgery, this may involve oral, intravenous, or continuation of regional nerve blocks or neuroaxial (spinal or epidural) anesthetics.

Children who have major surgery may often be transferred directly from the OR to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), or if a newborn to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) where care will be provided by pediatricians specialized in intensive care.