Before surgery the anaesthetist, or a member of their team, will come and meet with you and your child.
They will ask questions about your child and then discuss how their anaesthetic and pain control can be managed and any possible side effects you should know about.
There may be different options and you will know what is best for your child. Please ask as many questions as you like.
The nursing staff will then weigh your child and put special numbing (magic) cream on their hands or feet in preparation for the anaesthetic. Even if they are having gas to go to sleep it is important that we try to keep cream on their hands if we can as it will help later on.
When it is time for surgery you and your child will go to a special room called an anaesthetic room. You can stay with your child until they are sleepy (this is not compulsory and if you would prefer not to come, just let us know).
The anaesthetic team will check your child’s paperwork and confirm the surgery to be done and other important information.
There are two ways to go to sleep. Different methods work for different ages of child and different operations.
For older children the ‘cannula” method is best. This is when a small cannula (plastic straw) is placed into the child’s hand in the place where the numbing cream has been. The cream stops this hurting. Medicines can then be given through this to make them sleepy.
For younger children using a mask and some special anaesthetic gas may be better. Your anaesthetist will tell you what your options are and will be happy to explain why and answer questions.
Once your child is asleep we will ask you to leave the anaesthetic area so we can focus on caring for your child.
The anaesthetist will be with your child watching them sleep and keeping them safe until the operation is over.
When it is time for your child to wake up they will go to the paediatric recovery bay. Here they will be cared for by our recovery nursing team until they start to wake and are safe to return to the ward area.
We will contact you as soon as your child is safe and waking up so that you can be with them at the earliest opportunity.