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Paediatr Anaesth. 2016 Jan;26(1):60-5. doi: 10.1111/pan.12814. Epub 2015 Nov 12.

Neurotoxicity, general anesthesia in young children, and a survey of current pediatric anesthesia practice at US teaching institutions.

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Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Department of Anesthesiology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, USA.



Recent articles in both scholarly journals and the lay press about the topic of anesthetic related neurotoxicity have increased the awareness and discussion of this topic with parents and other pediatric medical specialties (i.e., surgeons, radiologists, and pediatricians).


The purpose of the present study was to survey how a subset of pediatric anesthesia departments in the US have responded to the issue of anesthetic related neurotoxicity in terms of clinical practice, training and communication with other medical specialties, and the frequency and timing of discussions with families.


A survey consisting of 22 questions was sent to PALC (Pediatric Anesthesia Leadership Council) & PAPDA (Pediatric Anesthesia Program Directors Association) via SurveyMonkey. The survey was divided into sections on Anesthesia Faculty/Trainees, Parents and Non-Anesthesia Providers. Responses to the survey were solicited via email to PALC and PAPDA, and then followed up with reminders to individual emails using the mailing lists of both organizations.


The results of this survey demonstrate that pediatric anesthesia programs around the US do not have a consistent approach in managing the topic of anesthesia-related neurotoxicity with pediatric anesthesiologists, anesthesiology residents, pediatric anesthesiology fellows and their non-anesthesia medical and surgical colleagues, as well as the discussion of this topic with parents.


A significant need exists to provide information to other pediatric professionals and parents. A consistent message from all providers that includes what is known, and indeed more importantly what is not known may be a useful approach.


clinical research; education; general anesthesia; neurodevelopment; pediatrics; teaching

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