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Learning About Regional Anesthesia in Children

What is it?

Regional anesthesia is the use of medicine to block pain from an area of the body, like an arm or a leg or the belly. It's used with medicines to relax your child or make your child fall asleep during a procedure.

What are the types?

The main types are:

  • Peripheral nerve blocks. This is a shot near a specific nerve or group of nerves. It blocks pain in the part of the body supplied by the nerve. This is often used for procedures on the hands, arms, feet, legs, or face.
  • Spinal, epidural, and caudal. These are shots of medicine near the spinal cord and the nerves that connect to it. They block pain from an entire region of the body, such as the belly, hips, or legs.

How do you prepare?

You'll get instructions to help you prepare. They'll tell you what to expect at the hospital. They'll also tell you when your child should stop eating, drinking, or breastfeeding. And they'll tell you when to stop any medicines. If your child feels nervous, ask your doctor about ways to help them relax.

What should you tell the anesthesia specialist before the procedure?

Tell the specialist about any health problems your child has. Tell them about your child's past surgeries. Also let them know if a family member had problems with anesthesia. Give them a list of any medicines and natural health products your child takes.

Where can you learn more?

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