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Anesthesia Safe for Infants, Toddlers, Study Says

Posted 7 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 – General anesthesia doesn't seem to harm young children's mental development, new research concludes. "A number of animal studies have suggested that exposure to commonly used anesthetic agents in early development could lead to deficits in learning, memory, attention and other cognitive functions," said study author Dr. Lena Sun. She is a professor of pediatric anesthesiology and pediatrics at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. "However, few clinical studies have adequately addressed whether this is also true in humans," Sun said in a Columbia news release. The new study findings are "good news for parents whose children need anesthesia for elective surgery or a diagnostic procedure," she added. Still, the study leaves some important questions unanswered, Sun said. "We need to take a closer look at the effect of anesthesia on cognitive function ... Read more

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Local Anesthesia May Be Best for Infants During Surgery

Posted 14 May 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 14, 2015 – New research suggests infants may recover better after some kinds of surgery if they receive local anesthesia – which only numbs part of the body – instead of being "knocked out" completely with general anesthesia. Young patients who had local anesthesia were less likely to suffer from disrupted breathing following hernia surgery, the study found. "Our research provides the strongest evidence to date on how babies should have anesthesia for hernia repair, the most common procedure among infants," said lead author Dr. Andrew Davidson, an associate professor at Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. "We found that spinal [local] anesthesia is safer than general anesthesia," Davidson explained in a news release from the American Society of Anesthesiologists. There's long been uncertainty about the use of general anesthesia in infants and toddlers. ... Read more

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Risks From Epidural, Spinal Anesthesia Very Low, Study Says

Posted 15 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 14 2014 – The risks of using epidural and spinal anesthesia during childbirth are extremely low, according to a new study. Researchers analyzed data from more than 80,000 women who received epidural or spinal anesthesia during childbirth and found that the overall rate of complications was just under 3 percent. The most common complications involved medications, including receiving too much or too little anesthesia, or being given unintended or expired medications. The fear of "spinal headache" is common among women about to receive epidural or spinal anesthesia, but this complication – formally known as a post-dural puncture headache – occurred in only 0.2 percent of patients, according to the study. The findings are scheduled for presentation Tuesday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in New Orleans. "The rates of complications are ... Read more

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Combo Treatment Might Beat Epidural to Ease Labor: Study

Posted 5 Mar 2013 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 5 – In the first stage of labor, a combined spinal-epidural technique provides faster and better pain relief compared to traditional epidural pain relief, a new study suggests. The research included 800 healthy women who required pain relief during childbirth, and who were divided into two groups. One group received standard epidural pain relief, which involves injections of local anesthetic and pain medications into the epidural space, inside the membranes covering the spinal cord. The other group received the combination approach, which starts with medications injected into the intrathecal space, the deeper space directly around the spinal cord, before using an epidural injection. After the initial epidural or intrathecal injections, both groups received patient-controlled epidural analgesia. The effectiveness of pain relief, rated on a 0-to-10 scale, was compared at ... Read more

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Hypnosis Plus Local Anesthesia Might Work Well for Some Surgeries

Posted 14 Jun 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 14 – Certain surgeries that typically require the use of general anesthesia could be safely performed with localized anesthesia in combination with hypnosis, Belgian researchers suggest. The finding stems from a pair of very small case-control studies that explored the combo's potential during surgical procedures performed for breast cancer patients and thyroid patients, respectively. The studies revealed that, relative to general anesthesia, the local anesthesia/hypnosis approach sped up the healing process, reduced the need for post-surgery opioid drugs and reduced hospitalization time. "There is still a lot of debate around the exact mechanism that allows hypnosis to reduce pain perception," said study author and professor Fabienne Roelants in a European Anaesthesiology Congress news release, "but what is absolutely clear is that it does so." She and her colleague ... Read more

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