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Study: Big Potential Anesthesia Risks For Infants and Toddlers

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia issued a statement last week to address new research about the risks of anesthesia for infants and small children. Although many newborns require surgeries early in life to correct dangerous conditions, new studies linked anesthesia at young ages to potentially serious cognitive difficulties at later ages.

This new knowledge will present tough choices for many Ohio parents. Some of the complications that can result from a premature birth or delivery errors often require corrective surgery. In many cases, parents will have to face the reality that fixing one problem now could cause many others down the road.

According to one study, children who underwent anesthesia before turning 3 showed significant developmental delays in language and reasoning by the time they turned 10. Other research supported this conclusion and went even farther by linking multiple sedations to higher risks of significant learning disabilities like dyslexia. The FDA also warned doctors that they should anesthetize children with the lowest effective doses and only when absolutely necessary.

The AAP's new statement recognizes that doctors should still use anesthesia when operating on a small children. However, doctors also need to thoroughly explain these developmental dangers to parents as part of an overall assessment of the risks and benefits of the procedure.

For many Ohio families, this dilemma will be even more difficult where the need for surgery only exists because of a doctor's negligent mistakes. A Columbus birth injury lawyer can help these families secure the compensation they deserve to help provide for a child's future.

Source: MedPage Today, "Groups Highlight Children's Anesthesia Issues," Todd Neale, Dec. 14, 2012

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