Children with heart defects may react differently to anesthesia: one reason is because they may have lower levels of oxygen in their blood. This is why the Cardiac Center has a special anesthesia team dedicated to the care of cardiac patients.
The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology is one of the few programs in the United States that provides anesthesia services exclusively to pediatric patients with heart conditions. The cardiothoracic anesthesiology team:
- Provides comprehensive anesthesia services in the cardiac operating rooms, catheterization laboratories and in other Cardiac Center settings.
- Attends to Cardiac Center patients any time anesthesia is needed. For example, if your child were to need to have her appendix removed or ear tubes placed years after cardiac surgery, our pediatric cardiac anesthesia team would be there.
- Provides pain management for cardiac patients.
- Provides sedation during echocardiography for infants and small or very active children to help get a clearer “echo” image.
Each year, the cardiothoracic anesthesiology team provides anesthesia and pain management during more than 3,000 surgeries and other procedures for infants, children and adolescents. The team includes:
- Board-certified pediatric cardiothoracic anesthesiologists
- Nurse anesthetists
- Nurse practitioners
- Anesthesia technicians
Training and education
The Division of Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology also manages the largest training program in the world for pediatric anesthesiologists and critical care specialists and has trained more than 200 physicians.