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Pediatric anesthesiology is the branch of medicine concerned with the safety and pain management of children during medical procedures. During major surgical or other medical procedures, pediatric anesthesiologists administer general anesthesia, which induces unconsciousness and inhibits movement and feeling.
Pediatric anesthesiologists are trained to ensure patient safety before, during, and after a procedure, focusing on minimizing physical pain and providing a positive patient experience. To best address a child's unique needs, pediatric anesthesiologists consider prior medical history and facilitate family discussions.
Pediatric anesthesiologists evaluate patients' vital signs and administer anesthesia via inhalation mask or intravenous drip (also known as IV) before the start of a procedure. Some pediatric anesthesiologists will distract children with tablets or video games during this time. Pediatric anesthesiologists will monitor children throughout the surgery or medical procedure and adjust the level of anesthesia in accordance with a child's heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing. After the procedure, pediatric anesthesiologists will remove the inhalation mask or anesthesia intravenous drip and will continue to assess the patient's response to anesthesia in the post-anesthesia care unit (recovery room).
Pediatric anesthesiologists work closely with pediatric surgeons and may supervise a greater anesthesiology team, which may include certified nurse anesthetists or other medical technicians.