Thoracic epidural anaesthesia in infants and children.

When compared with conventional analgesic techniques, epidural anaesthesia not only provides improved analgesia, but also has several beneficial effects on the postoperative respiratory, cardiovascular, and metabolic status of the patient. Although the efficacy and safety of caudal and lumbar epidural anaesthesia in children has been demonstrated, there is little information concerning the use of thoracic epidural anaesthesia. The purpose of our review was to evaluate the safety of thoracic epidural anaesthesia in infants and children. We retrospectively reviewed our three-year experience with thoracic epidural anaesthesia for postoperative analgesia in children. Epidural catheters were placed at the thoracic level without difficulty in 63 children ranging in age from three months to 18 yr and in weight from 3.2 to 78 kg. Postoperative analgesia was provided by the continuous infusion of a bupivacaine/fentanyl mixture, supplemented with intermittent epidural fentanyl by bolus as needed. Epidural catheters were successfully placed in all patients. No inadvertent dural punctures were noted. No episodes of respiratory depression related to epidural analgesia occurred. Minor adverse effects including pruritus occurred in six patients, three of whom required pharmacological intervention with diphenhydramine. Our review suggests that this is a safe and effective method of postoperative analgesia following thoracic surgery in children.
AuthorsJ D Tobias, S Lowe, N O'Dell, G W Holcomb 3rd
JournalCanadian journal of anaesthesia = Journal canadien d'anestheĢsie (Can J Anaesth) Vol. 40 Issue 9 Pg. 879-82 (Sep 1993) ISSN: 0832-610X [Print] CANADA
PMID8403184 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Fentanyl
  • Bupivacaine
  • Adolescent
  • Analgesia, Epidural (adverse effects, instrumentation, methods)
  • Anesthesia, Epidural (adverse effects, instrumentation, methods)
  • Bupivacaine (administration & dosage)
  • Catheterization (instrumentation)
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fentanyl (administration & dosage)
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thoracic Vertebrae
  • Thoracotomy

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