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Children's rights - the basis of quality in pediatric anesthesia.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: In 1989, the United Nations passed the 'Convention on the Rights of the Child' (UNCRC) and, among others claimed the highest attainable standard of health for children and consequently the highest level of safety and quality in paediatric anaesthesia. SAFETOTS (Safe Anesthesia For Every Tot, www.safetots.org ), an initiative of international active paediatric anaesthetists, has derived 10 rights, the '10 R' of children undergoing anaesthesia care, which are critical for the well being of the child.

RECENT FINDINGS: The current situation in paediatric anaesthesia care in Europe does not always meet the requirements demanded by the UNCRC. Anaesthesia-related complications in children are still persistent. Anaesthesiologists are frequently asked to provide care for newborns, infants and small children without having sufficient child-specific expertise, resulting in an increased morbidity and mortality.

SUMMARY: This article will explain these statutes of children's rights and their implications for everyday paediatric anaesthesia. Furthermore, it will also express the institutional and political changes that are needed to guarantee children their right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health.

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