BACKGROUND: Induction of general anaesthesia can be distressing for children. Non-pharmacological methods for reducing anxiety and improving co-operation may avoid the adverse effects of preoperative sedation. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of non-pharmacological interventions in assisting induction of anaesthesia in children by reducing their anxiety, distress or increasing their co-operation.
Flunitrazepam, a derivative of benzodiazepine was used for induction and maintenance of anaesthesia in 933 patients. The induction dose was from 1,786 to 2,053 mg. The total dose of 2-2.66 mg was sufficient for maintenance of hypnosis for about 2 hours. The undesirable side effects were very rare. The average time of hypnosis after a single dose of flunitrazepam was 50.1 sec. The sedative action of the drug lasted for some time after regaining of consciousness. In most patients there was no need for administration of analgetics during first 24 hours after the operation.
The use of hypnotherapy to modify the reactions of 13 patients undergoing pedicle flap operations is described. The morale and mental approach of these patients was improved. Premedication and hypnotic drug requirements were reduced to nil following hypnotic training. Analgesic medication was also reduced, not being required at all following nearly two-thirds of the operations.
A simplified, safe and flexible technique of anesthesia, based on a limited number of relatively cheap drugs, and allowing ventilation with air, was applied to 60 patients undergoing operations of at least 60 minutes' duration. The required depth of hypnosis was produced by intravenous diazepam or gamma-OH, whilst droperidol and fentanyl provided a satisfactory degree of sedation and analgesia. Pancuronium bromide was used for muscle relaxation. Spontaneous respiration was resumed immediately after postoperative use of nalorphine and neostigmine.
Eighty-five patients ranging from 12 h to 7 years of age were included in this study. In the first group 35 cases received ketamine, gallamine and oxygen for surgery on the great vessels. Ketamine provided satisfactory analgesia and amnesia. Heart rate did not change significantly. Gallamine gave additional safety in the prevention of bradycardia. One hundred per cent oxygen increased oxygen saturation and made more oxygen available for the tissues. The combination secured favorable conditions even in cases of sevre right to left shunt.