A pediatric anesthesia patient

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.

Learn More About Pediatric Anesthesiology

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.

Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (302) 651-4200

What to Bring
  • 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
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Forms & Resources
Returning Patient Forms
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Support Services
  • CaringBridge: visit this free site offering support and communication to help your family through your child's medical journey
  • Ronald McDonald House of Delaware: a safe, free, family-centered home away from home when your child is sick and needs to be hospitalized

Our Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children anesthesiologists work in teams, often assisted by a physician in training or certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), who's a Master's-trained, advanced practice nurse licensed to provide pediatric anesthesia to patients in all settings.

And we recognize that any kind of medical procedure and separation from you can cause some stress and worry for you and your child. That’s why in addition to expert pediatric anesthesia care, we offer kid-friendly strategies you can use beforehand to lessen your child’s fears and prepare for the procedure. One example is the “play therapy” sessions we offer, a great way to help ease any anxiety our younger patients may be feeling about their upcoming procedures.

We take as much time as necessary to answer your questions, too.
We know that by explaining things in a simple, easy-to-understand way, we can help to alleviate some of the anxiety you and your child might feel about our pediatric anesthesia care.

Anesthesia vs. Sedation

Although anesthesia is used to prevent your child from feeling pain during surgery, some minor surgical procedures or procedures (such as endoscopies and medical imaging studies like magnetic resonance imaging) don’t require anesthesia. Instead, in these cases, our highly trained physicians and nurses in the Day Medicine Unit will administer a sedative drug to relax your child and make it easier to perform the procedure.

Our Pediatric Anesthesia Expertise

Our anesthesia care teams are skilled at all aspects of your child’s anesthesia care and always work under the direct supervision of the staff anesthesiologist.

With a long-standing affiliation with Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and its anesthesiology physician residency, we’re also a fully accredited Pediatric Anesthesia Specialty physician Fellowship Program.

In addition, we partner with several nursing schools to train Masters in Nursing in anesthesia care. These cooperative relationships not only allow us to train new leaders in the field of pediatric anesthesiology, but they also give us access to the latest worldwide research and medical advances.

What to Expect With Pediatric Anesthesia

Before the procedure, your child will undergo a thorough evaluation, which will include a complete medical history, physical exam, and (in some cases) lab tests. If your child has a complex medical history or special medical needs that require expertise from doctors in other fields, we’ll coordinate it all. Working as a team, we can determine the safest type of anesthesia for your child.

During the surgical procedure, we’ll administer the anesthetic medications and carefully monitor your child’s vital functions and response to surgery and anesthesia. Your child’s safety and comfort are why we’re there at all times.

After the procedure, we’ll remain with your child during the wake-up process and move to the Post Anesthesia Recovery Unit (PACU). During that time, we often give additional pain medication, if your child needs it. Once your child arrives in the PACU, one of our staff will 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).

Online Educational Programs About Pediatric Anesthesia

For certain procedures, we also provide access to online educational programs about your child’s anesthesia that you can watch with your child on any computer. Created by Emmi® Kids, these easy-to-use animated programs will help both you and your child better understand the anesthesia process and what to expect at every step. When appropriate, we’ll give you an access code to the video(s) that apply when your child's surgery is scheduled.