This article originally appeared in Star
Chronicle, a newsletter published for the Children's Medical
"I provide patients with the same standard of care I would give my own
children," says Peter Foley, MD, PhD, pediatric anesthesiology. "Engaging a
child and enlisting their trust is an important part of the care we
Dr. Foley is one of many pediatric
anesthesiologists providing care to young patients at the Children's Medical
Center. Although their primary focus is providing anesthesia for surgery, many
children undergo nonsurgical procedures, such as MRI and CT scans, that require
the care of an anesthesiologist. In addition, staff provides emergency room care
and emergency support in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Consultation services are also offered to patients for help in managing pain.
"In the near future, we hope to develop a comprehensive pain management program
for children," Dr. Foley says.
All staff members are trained in various techniques, ranging from general and
regional anesthesia to moderate sedation. A combination of general and regional
anesthesia is used for many pediatric surgical procedures. During a hernia
surgery, for example, an epidural is typically administered to the patient while
under general anesthesia for postoperative pain control. Using combined methods
is advantageous to the patient because it usually results in the child waking up
quickly and pain free after surgery.
According to Dr. Foley, extra care is taken with pediatric patients because
of the anatomical and physiological differences from adult patients. The
response of the pediatric patient varies according to the maturity of his or
her central nervous and cardiovascular systems and the anatomy of the airway.
The younger a child is, the more specialized his or her care will be.
When caring for the youngest and sickest of patients, experience and training
specific to pediatric procedures enables the best outcome. Children's Medical
Center pediatric anesthesiologists have the special skills and talents to take
care of these patients.