Physicians reduce recovery times, costs by using spinal anesthesia in infants: 4 things to know

Written by Angie Stewart | November 05, 2019 | Print  |

Physicians at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., are using spinal anesthesia in infants to avoid the risks and postoperative complications that can arise with general anesthesia.

Four things to know:

1. Elliot Hospital physicians have previously used spinal anesthesia in babies undergoing certain procedures, but they recently began using spinal anesthesia for more complex surgical and laparoscopic procedures such as surgery of the abdomen, pelvis, chest wall and lower extremities.

2. The physicians attempted to use spinal anesthesia in 149 surgeries and found that it was successful 99.3 percent of the time. The patients ranged from premature babies to 14-month-old toddlers. None of them experienced respiratory or spinal complications.

3. The physicians found that spinal anesthesia reduced preparation time and recovery time — which in turn lowered overall costs — compared to general anesthesia. The method was reportedly as safe and effective as general anesthesia for complex surgery.

4. The team, which includes Charles Eastwood, MD, Jessica Bland, MD, Amanda DuBois, APRN, and Meghna Misra, MD, presented these findings at the American Pediatric Surgical Association's annual meeting, which took place May 19-22 in Boston. 

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