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Officials raise concerns of cognitive damage caused by anesthesia

Recently, a group of physicians warned against the potential dangers of administering anesthetics to children. The cautionary message brought new light to concerns of brain injury and damage that can occur when physicians do not properly weigh the risks of going forward with certain medical treatments, which is likely a concern for all parents in North Carolina.

A consensus statement released as part of a partnership between the International Anesthesia Research Society and the Food and Drug Administration warned that there is a risk of young children sustaining cognitive damage after undergoing anesthesia. Their statement was also endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The statement was based on some research that suggests there may be a link between language deficits and other cognitive development issues that arise when children are exposed to certain anesthetic agents between the ages of two and three. Officials from the FDA indicated that there is no explicit connection between brain development and anesthesia, but doctors should use caution when prescribing these types of treatments.

The recommendation included in the statement is that doctors carefully consider the risks of using anesthesia while weighing the medical needs of the child. Furthermore, doctors should also discuss options and risks with parents.

Parents only want the best for their children, which is why they often trust the medical opinions of doctors. Going through surgery is undoubtedly a scary experience for parents and their children, which is why preventable medical mistakes are so traumatic and upsetting for those affected.

Brain injuries are often quite difficult for patients and their families to deal with. This is especially true among children who have so many years ahead of themselves. This is exactly why medical providers should never take major decisions involving children lightly.

Source: MedPage Today, "Groups Highlight Children's Anesthesia Issues," Todd Neale, Dec. 14, 2012

  • Our firm has experience helping families deal with the damage caused by a medical accident. To learn more, please visit our Raleigh medical malpractice page.

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