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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 85-91

What a pediatric anesthesiologist should know about COVID-19

Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Neerja Bhardwaj
Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joacp.JOACP_237_20

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The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges and has unique implications for pediatric anesthesiologists. While children have a less severe clinical course compared to adults, they might be an important component in the transmission link by being asymptomatic carriers. Thus, it is essential to have practice guidelines for pediatric health care providers to limit transmission while providing safe and optimum care to our patients. Here we provide a brief review of the unique epidemiology and clinical characteristics of COVID-19 inflicted children. We have also reviewed various pediatric anesthesia guidelines and summarized the same to provide insight into the goals of management. We share the protocols that have been formulated and adopted in the pediatric anesthesia wing of our tertiary care hospital. This article lays special emphasis on the preparation of specialized protocols, designated areas, and training of personnel expected to be involved in patient care. The operating room should be well equipped with weight and age-appropriate equipment and drugs. Special attention should be paid to minimize aerosol generation via premedication and physical barriers. Induction and airway handling should be performed rapidly and securely with minimum personnel present. Disconnections should be avoided during maintenance. Extubation and transfer of children should be smooth. These protocols and guidelines are being constantly reviewed and updated as new evidence emerges. Our goal as pediatric anesthesiologists is to provide anesthesia that is safe for the child while preventing and minimizing the risk of infection to health care workers.

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