Anesthesia - Patient Care and Treatment

Anesthesia - Patient Care and Treatment

Learn how Penn State Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Anesthesia doctors safely ease pain in children who are having surgery, scans or infusions.

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Pediatric Anesthesia Pain management service helps children cope with chronic pain

Chronic pain is constant pain that keeps a child from enjoying a normal life. When pain can’t be managed by using the usual treatments or physical therapy, the next step is a treatment plan.

We diagnose and manage pain problems in children in an outpatient clinic setting. Our team is well-trained in:

  • Drug therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health therapy

We work with the patient and other care providers to:

  • Learn about the main cause of the child’s pain
  • Come up with a treatment plan designed for that child

While some problems such as headaches or pelvic pain are most often cared for by other specialists, we also work with those doctors to bring more treatment choices to their patients. We focus on helping our young patients, whatever their diagnosis may be.

Providers

Specialists:

What we do

Treatment philosophy

Because children are always growing and developing, we think about not only the patients they are today, but who they’ll become over the coming weeks, months and years.

Treatment process
We focus on treating children in pain so they can get back to being active. Sometimes it’s things that seem harmless that can add to a child’s pain and slow down recovery. Two of those things are:

  • Sleep habits
  • Missed school, work or social activities

We try to get to the bottom of basic issues like these to help a child get better.

Along with “lifestyle” treatment, a therapy program may include some or all of these services:

  • Medication management - making sure medicines are used the right way
  • Medicine infusions - medicine that’s not given by mouth
  • Interventional procedures - used to diagnose or treat a patient and involves making a cut or a hole to enter the inside of a patient's body
  • Referrals to other specialists
  • Patient and family education 

Follow-up care

The need for, and timing of, follow-up visits will be decided based on the needs of each child. Follow-up visits last between 30 and 45 minutes. The family doctor and/or referring doctor will get written progress reports and learn about the choices for future care after each patient visit. 

When a child needs a procedure

If you have any questions, or can’t keep any of your child’s appointments, please call your scheduling coordinator.

Before your child’s procedure

  • Admissions - you’ll get a call from Admissions/Registration a few days before your child’s scheduled procedure to confirm it. You’ll be asked to give your personal and insurance information at that time.
  • Financial Counselors - our goal is to lessen concerns about finances when it comes to your child’s procedure. Financial counselors can help. If you need to speak with one, call 717-531-5069 or toll-free 800-254-2619.

Pre-anesthesia appointment

To be ready for your child’s procedure:

  • You may need an appointment with the Anesthesia Clinic in Pre-Admissions.
  • If so, it will be scheduled by your procedure scheduling coordinator.
  • Please allow two hours for this appointment. 
  • The Anesthesia Clinic is located on the first floor of the University Physicians Center, Entrance Door #4, Suite 1300.

This visit will include:

  • A medical history review, physical exam and anesthesia evaluation
  • Pre-procedure blood tests and other diagnostic studies if needed
  • Answers to questions about your child’s procedure, anesthesia and the recovery time

Please bring this information with you to the appointment:

  • Your family doctor’s or specialist’s
    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone number
  • Insurance cards and insurance claim forms to process your registration information
  • A full list of medicines your child takes. Include:
    • Name
    • Dose
    • How often and time of day each drug is taken 
  • Also have a list of any of these items:
    • Insulin
    • Inhalers
    • Drops
    • Herbal supplements
    • Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs
  • Bring information on:
    • Past surgeries
    • Surgery dates
    • Any general anesthesia problems
  • Please be ready to give information about any procedures from the last four years that weren’t done at Penn State Children’s Hospital:
    • Cardiologist evaluation
    • Echocardiogram
    • Stress test
    • Cardiac catheterization
    • Holter monitor

Medicines to stop taking

Some drugs can raise the risk of bleeding or other problems during anesthesia and surgery.

  • For your child’s safety, herbal medicines should be stopped one week before surgery. They may react badly to the anesthesia or lead to more bleeding.
  • During the Anesthesia Clinic visit, diabetic patients will get instructions about taking oral diabetic drugs and insulin.
  • All of your child’s medicines and instructions will be checked at your child’s pain visit and/or anesthesiologist visit.
  • If your child takes any of the medicines listed below, please ask when or if they should be taken before the procedure:
    • Aspirin and Plavix (Clopidogrel) should be stopped seven days before
    • NSAIDS (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Aleve, Advil, etc.)
    • Celebrex
    • Ticlid (Ticlopidine)
    • Coumadin, Warfarin, Heparin, Lovenox, or Fragmin

Medicines to keep taking

Your child may keep taking pain-related medicines or Tylenol for pain until he or she gets to the hospital for the procedure. Up to and during the morning of surgery, your child should usually keep taking:

  • Beta blockers such as:
    • metoprolol (Toprol, Lopressor)
    • atenolol (Tenormin)
    • propranolol (Inderal)
  • Blood pressure drugs
  • Inhalers for asthma such as albuterol, atrovent
  • Anti-reflux medicines such as:
    • omeprazole (Prilosec)
    • ranitidine (Zantac)
    • rabeprozole (Aciphex)
    • esomeprazole (Nexium)

Medicines to avoid taking

Seven days before a procedure, your child should not take medicines that contain common aspirin. The drugs on this list will often have salicylic acid or salicylate as part of the ingredients, so you’ll want to keep from giving them to your child:

  • Aggrenox
  • Alka Seltzer pain, cold, and flu preparations
  • Aspirin (including chewable, low-dose)
  • Ascriptin
  • Arthrotec
  • Bayer Aspirin (Bayer products)
  • BC Powder
  • Bufferin
  • Darvon compound
  • Doan's pills
  • Ecotrin
  • Endodan
  • Excedrin
  • Fiorinal
  • Fiorinal with codeine
  • Norgesic
  • Orphengesic
  • Percodan
  • St. John's Wort
  • SOMA compound
  • Synalogous DC capsules

The day before the procedure

  • Contact - you’ll get a call one business day before your child’s surgery to learn your arrival time and instructions. 
    • If you don’t get a call by 5 p.m., please call 717-531-3838 or toll-free 800-243-1455. Ask to be transferred to ext. 3838.
    • If you reach our voicemail, please leave your name and phone number(s) so we can return your call.
  • Diet - your child should not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the surgery, unless you’re told otherwise.

The day of the procedure

What parents or guardians need to do:

  • Please arrive at the time you were given.
  • Check your child in at the Admissions Office in the East Lobby. Your child will get an ID wristband.
  • You and your child will be taken where the procedure will take place. Your child will be prepared for the procedure.
  • You must stay with the child.
  • Please don't bring other children.
  • Plan to stay with the child before and after surgery.
  • When your child is ready for the procedure, family members will be shown to the waiting area. 
    • We ask that you stay there until you hear from the pain specialist, family liaison or volunteer. 
    • A nurse will let you know where you can see your child after the procedure.

Make the child comfortable

  • Dress the child in loose-fitting clothing.
  • For younger children, bring any comfort items, such as:
    • Pacifier
    • Stuffed animal
    • Blanket
  • Please bring a case to store:
    • Glasses
    • Contact lenses
    • Dentures
  • Your child should not wear makeup or hairspray.
  • Your child may be asked to remove nail polish (fingers and/or toes) on the day of surgery.
  • Leave all jewelry at home, including any body piercing items.
  • Your child should not bring anything of value.

Medical history and safety tips

  • Bring your child’s labeled medication bottles and a list of any allergies.
  • Bring your insurance cards and a driver's license for the admissions process.
  • If you have an Advanced Directive, bring a copy with you.
  • Children of driving age will not be able to drive themselves home afterwards.
  • Bring any special formula and medical equipment.
  • You’ll be told when your child should stop food and drink before the surgery.

After the procedure

 

  • Your child will be taken to the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) for observation.
  • The child recovers from the anesthesia there and then goes to the Same Day Unit.
  • He or she can see family after waking up and being moved to a room.
  • Before the child is leaves the hospital, you’ll get verbal and written instructions about:
    • Medicines
    • Diet
    • Activities the child is allowed to do
    • Home care
  • A responsible adult must drive the child home.

When a child needs an infusion

If you have any questions, or are unable to keep any of your infusion appointments, please call your scheduling coordinator.

Before your child’s infusion

  • Admissions - you’ll get a call from Admissions/Registration a few days before your child’s scheduled procedure to confirm it. You’ll be asked to give your personal and insurance information at that time.
  • Financial counselors - our goal is to ease concerns about finances when it comes to your child’s procedure. Financial counselors can help. If you need to speak with one, call 717-531-5069 or toll-free 800-254-2619.

The day before the infusion

  • Contact - you’ll get a call one business day before your child’s surgery to get your arrival time and instructions. 
    • If you don’t get a call by 5 p.m., please call 717-531-3838 or toll-free 800-243-1455. Ask to be transferred to ext. 3838.
    • If you reach our voicemail, please leave your name and phone number(s) so we can return your call.
  • Diet - the child can eat or drink normally before the infusion, unless you’re told otherwise.

The day of the infusion

What parents or guardians need to do:

  • Please arrive at the time you were given.
  • Check your child in at the Admissions Office in the East Lobby. Your child will get an ID wristband.
  • You and your child will be taken to where the procedure will take place. Your child will get ready for the procedure.
  • You must stay with the child.
  • Please don't bring other children.
  • Plan to stay with the child during the infusion.

Make the child comfortable

  • Dress the child in loose-fitting clothing.
  • For younger children, bring any comfort items, such as:
    • Pacifier
    • Stuffed animal
    • Blanket
  • Please bring a case for storing:
    • Glasses
    • Contact lenses
    • Dentures
  • Your child shouldn’t wear makeup or hairspray.
  • Your child may be asked to remove nail polish (fingers and/or toes) on the day of surgery.
  • Leave all jewelry at home, including any body piercing items.
  • Your child shouldn’t bring anything of value.

Medical history and safety tips

  • Bring your child’s labeled medication bottles and a list of any allergies.
  • Bring your insurance cards and a driver's license for the admissions process.
  • If you have an Advanced Directive, bring a copy with you.
  • Children of driving age will not be able to drive themselves home afterwards.
  • Bring any special formula and medical equipment.

After the infusion

  • Your child will stay there until he or she recovers.
  • Before the child is leaves the hospital, you’ll get verbal and written instructions about:
    • Medicines
    • Diet
    • Activities the child is allowed to do
    • Home care
  • A responsible adult must drive the child home.