I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

2020 Jun 22

J Clin Med



Recognizing Risks and Optimizing Perioperative Care to Reduce Respiratory Complications in the Pediatric Patient.


There have been significant advancements in the safe delivery of anesthesia as well as improvements in surgical technique; however, the perioperative period can still be high risk for the pediatric patient. Perioperative respiratory complications (PRCs) are some of the most common critical events that can occur in pediatric surgical patients and they can lead to increased length of hospitalization, worsened patient outcomes, and higher hospital and postoperative costs. It is important to determine the various factors that put pediatric patients at increased risk of PRCs. This will allow for more detailed and accurate informed consent, optimized perioperative management strategy, improved allocation of clinical resources, and, hopefully, better patient experience. There are only a few risk prediction models/scoring tools developed for and validated in the pediatric patient population, but they have been useful in helping identify the key factors associated with a high likelihood of developing PRCs. Some of these factors are patient factors, while others are procedure-related factors. Some of these factors may be modified such that the patient's clinical status is optimized preoperatively to decrease the risk of PRCs occurring perioperatively. Fore knowledge of the factors that are not able to be modified can help guide allocation of perioperative clinical resources such that the negative impact of these non-modifiable factors is buffered. Additional training in pediatric anesthesia or focused expertise in pediatric airway management, vascular access and management of massive hemorrhage should be considered for the perioperative management of the less than 3 age group. Intraoperative ventilation strategy plays a key role in determining respiratory outcomes for both adult and pediatric surgical patients. Key components of lung protective mechanical ventilation strategy such as low tidal volume and moderate PEEP used in the management of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in pediatric intensive care units have been adopted in pediatric operating rooms. Adequate post-operative analgesia that balances pain control with appropriate mental status and respiratory drive is important in reducing PRCs.