If your child requires anesthesia, you can rely on the expertise of Nemours' pediatric anesthesiologists. Our experienced team specializes in administering anesthesia in children. Our job is to keep your child safe and prevent pain before, during, and immediately after the surgical procedure — and ease your worries and concerns, too.
Anesthesia is the use of medicine to prevent the feeling of pain during surgery or other procedures that might be painful, such as a dental extraction. Anesthesia is administered through injection or an inhaled gas or vapor.
Some minor surgical procedures or procedures don’t require anesthesia. Instead, in these cases, we’ll administer a sedative drug to relax children and make it easier to perform the procedures.
What to Expect With Pediatric Anesthesiology
All of our physicians are fellowship-trained and board-certified, and have advanced training in one or more areas — such as Pediatrics, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and Pediatric Anesthesiology. So we’re able to provide the highest-quality care to even the youngest or most medically complex patients. This high level of expertise and experience with the unique anesthesia needs of children means our pediatric anesthesiologists are especially qualified to keep your child comfortable and as calm as possible.
In order to provide the safest care, our pediatric anesthesiologists will direct a care team that may include other physicians and nursing staff. Together, our team will thoroughly evaluate your child before any procedure, explain the type of anesthesia we’ll use, and answer all of your questions. Then, we’ll administer your child’s anesthetic medications during the procedure and carefully monitor your child afterward.
For Information: (407) 567-4000
- Archilla, Carlos A., MD
- Bargas, Matthew S., MD
- Bishai, George B, MD
- Carvalho, Norman Faria, MD
- Castro-Frenzel, Karla, MD
- Helffrich, Richard A. Jr., MD
- Klim, Carol M., MD
- Lichtenstein, Steven Elliot, MD
- Santana-Rojas, Lisgelia, MD
- Saunders, Kevin J., MD
- Scrivens-Gaver, Olinda R., MD
- Sullivan, Kevin J., MD
- Wheatley, Rebekah L., MD
- photo ID
- medical and pharmacy insurance cards
- preferred pharmacy name and phone number
- names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
- guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
In the Pediatric Anesthesiology Department at Nemours Children’s Hospital we are dedicated to using the safest methods of administering anesthesia to a child and seeking the best, most effective medications for children. We are also committed to advancing the newest and most effective pediatric anesthesia techniques because we believe in caring for your child as we would our own.
Making You True Partners in Your Child's Anesthesia Care
We know that any kind of medical procedure and separation from you can cause some stress and worry for you and your child. That’s why we encourage you to accompany your child all the way into the operating room, and to stay until the anesthetic medication takes effect. This family-centered approach to pediatric anesthesia helps everyone feel better — and it results in better care. When families are involved, children have less anxiety and we can use less medication, which results in kids waking up quicker and getting back to normal activities sooner.
If your child has a complex or chronic condition we encourage you to take advantage of KidsTRACK, a unique service of Nemours Children’s Hospital. Located on the first floor of our hospital, KidsTRACK is designed to help families by providing expert assistance and information on all aspects of your child’s care, even before you leave our hospital or clinic.
A KidsTRACK care coordinator is available during every step of diagnosis, treatment and healing — helping your family make a smooth transition from Nemours Children's Hospital to home. Your coordinator works alongside the nursing/case managers in our subspecialty areas and acts as a single point of contact connecting you to medical and community resources.
Simply ask your physician for a referral to KidsTRACK
or call (407) 650-7715.
A Safer, Better Anesthesia Experience for Your Child
Whenever we plan to provide pediatric anesthesia, our focus is on your child’s safety, comfort, and the quality of your child’s recovery. Narcotics can often cause itching, nausea, and vomiting so we try to find innovative alternatives with fewer side effects. There’s a lot we can do, such as using nerve blocks (medication injections around the nerves to numb a large area of the body) and local infiltration (injecting medications into one small area) to supplement general anesthesia, in order to help a child feel good and wake up clear-headed.
We’re also very aware of the concerns regarding the possible impact that anesthesia may have on a child’s developing brain, especially children under the age of 2. Our goal is to choose the safest, most effective pediatric anesthesia for each child, with the least long-term after effect. Because we are a children’s hospital, we have all our pediatric specialists under one roof and can coordinate and combine procedures, such as ear tubes and an MRI, to reduce the number of times a child may need to go under anesthesia and the duration of the anesthetic.
Although pediatric anesthesia is used to prevent your child from feeling pain during surgery, some minor surgical or diagnostic procedures such as endoscopies and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may not require anesthesia. Instead, in these cases, our highly trained physicians and nurses might administer a sedative medicine to relax your child and make it easier to perform the procedure.
Before any surgical procedure, you’ll meet with one of our team members for a pre-anesthesia evaluation. This pre-surgical visit will include a complete medical history, physical exam, and (in some cases) lab tests.
We promise to take as much time as needed to answer your questions and to do all we can to help to ease some of the anxiety you and your child might feel about anesthesia care. If your child has a complex medical history or special medical needs that require expertise from other pediatric specialist(s), we’ll coordinate it all to minimize the number of tests and trips to the hospital.
Before and During the Procedure
You can accompany your child to the operating room and remain until your child is comfortable. During the surgical procedure, we’ll administer anesthetic medications and carefully monitor your child’s vital functions. Your child’s safety and comfort are our top priorities.
After the Procedure
We’ll remain with your child during the wake-up process and move to the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). During that time, we often give additional pain medication if your child needs it. Once your child arrives in the PACU, we’ll bring you to the bedside so you can be with your child during the recovery period. We also have an acute pain service dedicated to the care and treatment of postoperative pain (pain after the procedure).
It’s important to know that a member of our experienced and caring pediatric anesthesia staff will remain with your child at all times until you can be reunited. Working with the rest of our surgical team, we’ll help determine when your child can move to a regular patient room or be discharged (sent home from the hospital).
If your child is going home after surgery, we’ll provide complete instructions on what to expect after anesthesia and when to call us.
If your child is experiencing post-surgical pain, we can help. Nemours Children’s Hospital has one of the only pediatric pain management programs in the country that provides holistic, whole-child — and whole family — healing for children and teens experiencing acute (temporary) or chronic (ongoing) pain. Our integrated program is led by a world-renowned pediatric anesthesiologist who is also board-certified in pain management. We focus on relieving the physical, mental and emotional aspects of pain using a variety of therapies in an outpatient or inpatient (day stay hospital program) setting.
Nemours is unique in the country in having an award-winning, state-of-the-art electronic health record (EHR) called NemoursOne. This helps us track the use and effectiveness of anesthesia across our organization in Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. This clarity of information and communication helps us improve our quality and safety for a better, more efficient experience for all of the children we see.
Nemours Children’s Hospital is an academic institution as well as a pediatric medical facility. This means that pediatric research is a priority for us. In fact, the opportunity to pursue safer, better ways to treat children has attracted some of the finest pediatric anesthesia specialists in the country to our hospital. We plan to focus on the long- and short-term effects of anesthesia on young children. Our experts want to be part of advancing health care for kids. Our physician researchers will be teaching and mentoring the next generation of anesthesiologists in this area.