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General anesthesia is medicine that causes your child to become unconscious. The medicine can be inhaled or injected into a vein. It affects the whole body.
It's used to keep your child from feeling pain during a procedure. Examples of procedures that use it include ear tube placement, hernia repair, and tonsil removal.
General anesthesia can affect some of the body's normal functions. For example, your child may need help to breathe. An anesthesia professional will watch your child very closely. They'll make sure your child stays safe and comfortable.
It's common for parents to worry about their child having anesthesia. Tell your doctor if you're worried. They can explain exactly how they will care for your child.
General anesthesia is very safe for most children. But some health conditions can increase the risk of problems. Your doctor will talk with you about your child's health and if there's anything that increases your child's risk.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Call 911 anytime you think your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
Current as of: October 20, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Heather Quinn MD - Family Medicine & John M. Freedman MD - Anesthesiology & Donald Sproule MDCM, CCFP - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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