In a normal state, your body has defenses to prevent stomach content from coming up. Unfortunately when you are unconscious this mechanism does not work, so it’s best that your stomach is empty when you have a general anesthetic. In emergency surgery when you may have eaten recently, your anesthesiologist will take special precautions to reduce the risk of aspiration
When you are being intubated, the teeth are very close and there is always a possibility of a tooth being chipped or damaged, particularly if a tooth is capped or loose. By giving any details of loose or capped teeth, the anesthesiologist can make extra sure to prevent damaged teeth. Sometimes, if a tooth is really loose, it is wise just to take it out before your surgery.
Surgery is rarely cancelled unless there is a medical reason. If your child is not in their usual state of health or has not followed the preparation guidelines given to you, surgery may be delayed.
Sometimes unscheduled emergency surgery is necessary for another child. In this circumstances, elective surgery will sometimes be delayed or less commonly, need to be rescheduled to another day. We recognize the inconvenience this can cause you and your child and we make every effort to minimize delays
IV PCA stands for Intravenous (in the Vein) Patient Controlled Analgesia. This means that you, the patient, have control of your pain medicine. You will have a special machine called a PCA pump that contains your pain medicine hooked up to your IV, and there will be a button attached to the pump that you can press to give yourself extra doses of pain medicine when you need it.
PCA is used in patients who are having moderate pain, but are not ready to take their pain medicine by mouth. PCA was initially used in adults, but it is now available to children at many hospitals as well. In general, children who are 5 to 6 years of age or older, who are able to press a button, and can understand the idea of using the PCA pump to help control their pain, are able to use a PCA.
Pain occurs when the body is injured, warning you to avoid more injury. But pain that continues and is not taken care of can be harmful, especially when you are sick or after surgery. Pain can make it hard for you to take deep breaths and may keep you from getting out of bed and walking. Poorly treated pain can cause problems that might make you need to stay in the hospital longer.
Your nurses will check on you when you are having pain. They will ask you to rate your pain (give your pain a number) on a 0 to 10 scale. A rating of 0 means you have no pain, 5 means you feel a medium amount of pain, and 10 means you feel the worst pain you can imagine. Your nurse may also use another pain rating scale called the FACES scale, and ask you to point to the face that best shows how much pain you are having.
Parents: if your child is unable to rate his/her pain using a number, there are other pain scales that the nurses or doctors can use to help decide how much pain your child is having.
You may have a lot of pain, especially when you move or cough, that is not helped by pushing the PCA button. If so, you can let your doctor or nurse know, so that you can receive more pain medicine.