Journal of Anaesthesiology Clinical Pharmacology

: 2014  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10--18

Spinal anesthesia in children: A review

Anju Gupta1, Usha Usha2 
1 Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care, Delhi State Cancer Hospital, Dilshad Garden, New Delhi, India
2 LHMC and Associated Hospitals, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Anju Gupta
438, Pocket A, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi - 110 076

Even after a vast safety record, the role of spinal anesthesia (SA) as a primary anesthetic technique in children remains contentious and is mainly limited to specialized pediatric centers. It is usually practiced on moribund former preterm infants (<60 weeks post-conception) to reduce the incidence of post-operative apnea when compared to general anesthesia (GA). However, there is ample literature to suggest its safety and efficacy for suitable procedures in older children as well. SA in children has many advantages as in adults with an added advantage of minimal cardio-respiratory disturbance. Recently, several reports from animal studies have raised serious concerns regarding the harmful effects of GA on young developing brain. This may further increase the utility of SA in children as it provides all components of balanced anesthesia technique. Also, SA can be an economical option for countries with finite resources. Limited duration of surgical anesthesia in children is one of the major deterrents for its widespread use in them. To overcome this, several additives like epinephrine, clonidine, fentanyl, morphine, neostigmine etc. have been used and found to be effective even in neonates. But, the developing spinal cord may also be vulnerable to drug-related toxicity, though this has not been systematically evaluated in children. So, adjuvants and drugs with widest therapeutic index should be preferred in children. Despite its widespread use, incidence of side-effects is low and permanent neurological sequalae have not been reported with SA. Literature yields encouraging results regarding its safety and efficacy. Technical skills and constant vigilance of experienced anesthesia providers is indispensable to achieve good results with this technique.

How to cite this article:
Gupta A, Usha U. Spinal anesthesia in children: A review.J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol 2014;30:10-18

How to cite this URL:
Gupta A, Usha U. Spinal anesthesia in children: A review. J Anaesthesiol Clin Pharmacol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Jul 14 ];30:10-18
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