Children who require both dental and medical procedures should have them completed under one general anaesthetic whenever possible, which is ideal for both the patient and family, suggests research being presented at the Anesthesiology 2016 Annual Meeting.
“While surgery and anaesthesia are safer than they’ve ever been, limiting exposure is preferable, especially in children, because there may be sensitivities or a greater risk of anaesthesia-related complications,” said Dr Vidya T. Raman, lead author of the study and director of pre-admission testing at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Ohio.
“In addition to improving patient safety, we believe combining procedures decreases costs and improves patient satisfaction”.
Every year, millions of children require surgery for dental and medical procedures. Dental procedures should be performed in combination with other surgical interventions requiring general anaesthesia. This enables the child to undergo multiple procedures in one visit rather than over several weeks or months.
In the study, 55 children had a dental procedure combined with another medical procedure under one anaesthetic. Nearly nine out of ten (87%) did not experience any complications. Seven (13%) had complications such as vomiting, pain, fever and pneumonia and of those, four (7%) required unplanned admission to the hospital. Most of those patients were at increased risk of hospitalisation because of severe systemic disease, said Dr Raman. Additionally, combining procedures saved an average of 30%, leading to savings of approximately $165,000 for 55 cases, researchers determined.