MEDICA-tradefair.com spoke with Dr. Karin Becke, Spokesperson of the Scientific Working Group of Pediatric Anesthesia of the DGAI and Chief Physician of the Department for Anesthesiology and Intensive Medicine at the Hallerwiese Clinic/Cnopf'sche Pediatric Clinic.
Dr. Becke, anesthesia always carries risks. What is the difference between anesthesia for an adult and a child?
Dr. Karin Becke: The biggest difference is between very small children, the one and two-year-olds and adults. The child's body still needs to adjust during this stage of development to develop the function of mature organs like adults have. During this time, children are very susceptible to complications, because there is a discrepancy between oxygen consumption and oxygen demand. Children at this age need a lot more oxygen compared to grown-ups and if there is a lack of oxygen due to a complication, it manifests itself much quicker. Another difference is the child’s body height of course. Small children are very rarely in an operating room, which is great and preferable of course. However, this often results in a lack of routine for the anesthesiologist, who gained his/her experience more by treating adults.
The interview was conducted by Simone Ernst and translated from German by Elena O'Meara.