oa South African Family Practice - Anaesthesia for children : towards safer practice : anaesthesia supplement

Volume 54, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



It has long been recognised that anaesthesia-related complications, including anaesthesia-related cardiac arrest and mortality, occur more frequently in children, than in adults. While outcomes have improved over the last couple of decades, most likely as a result of better training and improved monitoring, and notably the introduction of pulse oximetry and capnography in the 1990s, paediatric anaesthesia-related cardiac arrests still occur. The incidence is 1.4-22:10 000 anaesthetics, and a subsequent mortality of approximately 30%. The incidence varies by centre, but is thought to be higher in South Africa as the studies in the literature derive either from the developed world, or from tertiary referral centres in the developing world.

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