Features  |   October 2019
Putting Pediatric Patients First
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Pediatric Anesthesia / Features
Features   |   October 2019
Putting Pediatric Patients First
ASA Monitor 10 2019, Vol.83, 28-29.
ASA Monitor 10 2019, Vol.83, 28-29.
In an era of patient and family autonomy, putting patients first not only appeals to logic but is a cultural mandate. Putting patients first in pediatrics has always meant safety.1  Today, it also means addressing the needs of the child as well as the parent. Increased perioperative or periprocedure discomfort and distress in a child would reduce parent satisfaction. However, the concept of putting pediatric patients first has not been adequately explored. Common age-appropriate concerns of children and their families and large patient/caregiver-reported outcome measures need to be defined. The tools developed and validated for addressing patient-related outcome measures for adults may not always apply to the pediatric population. Nevertheless, we can start with approaches to reduce the burden of symptoms such as anxiety, pain and inability to tolerate oral intake (vomiting) as well as improve quality of life through developmentally appropriate ambulation and ability to interact appropriately with parents and others. For a parent, putting a pediatric patient first, particularly those under the age of 3 years, would also include allying their anxiety, including addressing their concerns regarding the influence of anesthesia on neurodevelopmental outcomes. However, this issue is complex and thus outside the scope of this article.
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