We understand how stressful it can be for both you and your child should they need an anaesthetic for an operation or a procedure.  Our aim is to minimise any stress as much as we can to help ensure your child recovers as quickly and as well as is possible.  Wherever possible we encourage you to bring a favourite toy, blanket, or book with your child.  If your child is an infant and has a dummy we try and keep that with your child throughout.

During the pre-operative assessment of your child we will ask you about their medical history and any family history of problems with anaesthesia.  We also ask if they have any wobbly teeth!  We will also talk to your child themselves and try to alleviate their worries as much as is possible.  There are two main ways for a child to go to sleep, either by an injection of anaesthetic drugs through an intravenous drip, or by breathing anaesthetic gas through a mask.  When we visit you and your child preoperatively we ask older children if they would prefer the gas or the injection to go to sleep, not surprisingly most prefer the gas.  If however your child already has an intravenous drip in place, we generally use this as it is far quicker, particularly in older children.  Special local anaesthetic cream is available to help alleviate the pain from the insertion of any intravenous drip.  From the middle teens onward it is preferable for children to have their anaesthetic via an intravenous drip.  Almost all children will have an intravenous drip inserted once they are asleep.  Do not be surprised in very young children if this is in the foot or leg rather than the hand or the arm.

If anaesthetic gas is used it is important that the anaesthetic mask is held with a tight seal over the face.  Smaller children are often best anaesthetised sitting on a parents lap.  It is quite common for a child to get extremely wriggly just as they are falling off to sleep.  Don't worry, this is to be expected and is completely harmless, your child will not recall this at all.  Movements can be quite vigorous and be quite startling to those who are not expecting them.

All hospitals in the Bendigo area allow a parent or carer to remain with the child until they are asleep.  We are quite happy for both parents to be with the child, if that is what you or your child wishes.  Please note that some hospitals may only allow one parent or carer to be with the child.