Anaesthetic management of paediatric and neonatal patients


This article aims to highlight the key physiological differences in the paediatric patient in comparison to the adult and how they may impact anaesthetic management in practice from pre-operative considerations through to recovery. The critical importance of communication within the veterinary team is highlighted to ensure successful outcomes and reduce the risk of mortality. Potential complications are discussed as they are inherent to anaesthesia, however early identification and intervention can help ensure patient safety. Although paediatric and neonatal anaesthesia may be challenging, it can also be incredibly satisfying for the registered veterinary nurse (RVN) as specific nursing care needs to be provided throughout the peri-operative period to facilitate a smooth anaesthetic and recovery.

Figure 1. Preparation area set up prior to neonatal anaesthesia with a paediatric modified t-piece, warming devices, multiparameter monitor and syringe driver.
Figure 1. Preparation area set up prior to neonatal anaesthesia with a paediatric modified t-piece, warming devices, multiparameter monitor and syringe driver.

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