Propofol or propofol—alfentanil anesthesia for painful procedures in the pediatric oncology ward

Margareta Von Heijne, Britt Bredlöv, Stefan Söderhäll, Gunnar L Olsson
Paediatric Anaesthesia 2004, 14 (8): 670-5

BACKGROUND: For children with cancer receiving curative treatment, the pain of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures is often worse than that of the disease itself. In order to evaluate if light propofol anesthesia in the pediatric oncology ward (POW) could improve the management of procedure pain and anxiety, a questionnaire was developed.

METHODS: After prolonged EMLA application, 65 propofol anesthetics were performed successfully in 28 children during lumbar puncture and/or bone marrow aspiration in the POW, with short recovery time and without major adverse events. The questionnaire was mailed to the parents of the 28 children who were included in the survey.

RESULTS: The return of questionnaire compliance was 89% (25 of 28), 12 females and 13 males, mean age was 7 years (range 2-16). Among those who replied, the diagnoses were acute lymphatic leukemia in 21, lymphoma in two and tumor in the other two. In the questionnaire, all parents/patients reported advantages with anesthesia in the POW compared with the operating room. In the list of stated advantages, 88% marked 'familiar nurses and doctors', 84% 'familiar environment', 80% 'closer to own room', 68% 'the child more calm', 72% 'shorter waiting-time', 60% 'faster recovery', 44% 'shorter fasting-time' and 44% 'parents more calm', as benefits. For future procedures requiring anesthesia to reduce pain, discomfort and/or anxiety, 92% of the parents/patients preferred anesthesia in the POW.

CONCLUSIONS: If anesthesia is chosen for invasive procedures, this study suggest that propofol anesthesia in the POW is preferred by parents and children.

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