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Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
     Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons         
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-9

We need to develop pediatric anesthesiology in India!

1 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab, India
2 Department of Anesthesiology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab, India

Date of Web Publication27-Nov-2014

Correspondence Address:
Katragadda Lakshmi Narasimha Rao
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, Haryana and Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-9261.145437

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How to cite this article:
Rao KL, Batra YK. We need to develop pediatric anesthesiology in India! . J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2015;20:8-9

How to cite this URL:
Rao KL, Batra YK. We need to develop pediatric anesthesiology in India! . J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Dec 10];20:8-9. Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2015/20/1/8/145437

Over less than half a century, pediatric and neonatal surgery has developed considerably in our country. We the pediatric surgeons have improved the training centers, teaching programs, and the number of trainee positions to a large extent. The first- and second-generation pediatric surgeons of the country have rightly emphasized on training of surgeons and the establishment of neonatal surgical intensive care facilities (K. L. N. Rao. History of Pediatric Surgery in India. In: Kaushik SP (ed), History of Surgery, Paras Medical Publishers, Hyderabad, 2013, pp 132-139).

Neonatal intensive care facilities have been improved significantly, especially in collaboration with colleagues in pediatrics and neonatology. However, pediatric anesthesiology facilities have not kept pace with pediatric and neonatal surgical facilities. Our personal knowledge of various centers in the country has revealed the suboptimal situation of the availability of anesthesia facilities for neonates and children, let alone that of pediatric anesthesiologists! It is inconceivable that we surgeons would be able to deliver optimal results without safe anesthesia or competent pediatric anesthesiologists (Task force for Children's surgical care. Optimal resources for children's surgical care in the United States. J Am Coll Surg 2014;218:479-487).

Pediatric anesthesia is a relatively new specialty that is expanding throughout the globe. As children form nearly 40% of the Indian population, there is an ever-increasing demand for pediatric surgical and anesthetic services. These services should be provided by trained clinical personnel (surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, and technicians) using age-appropriate equipment in a child-friendly environment. There are anatomical, physiological, pharmacological, and psychological differences between children and adults. There are some pediatric diseases that are similar to adult diseases, but there are many others that occur only in children. Thus, anesthetic care of children requires special training and expertise.

Children have better outcomes when anesthetized by trained pediatric anesthetists than when anesthetized by general anesthetists. However, most postgraduate anesthesia programs in India provide students with only a limited exposure to pediatric anesthesia. Training schemes such as pediatric anesthesia fellowships are an excellent start to overcome this problem. At present, the few existing training centers providing these courses fall far short of the requirement for pediatric anesthesiologists. Fortunately, young anesthesiologists are increasingly showing interest in this specialty.

The practice of pediatric anesthesia requires the use of a range of equipment suitable for children of all ages. This includes specialized pediatric equipment for the administration of general as well as regional anesthesia, monitors, resuscitation carts, and defibrillators for the operating and recovery areas. To provide optimum perioperative care, pediatric anesthetists need to be proficient not only in providing anesthesia for neonates, infants, children, and adolescents undergoing a wide variety of routine and emergency surgical, diagnostic, and therapeutic procedures, but also in pain management, critical care, and advanced life support. They also need to stay updated in their field to improve outcomes in terms of reducing both morbidity and mortality.

It is unfortunate that the majority of hospitals in this country do not meet the standards for the practice of good pediatric anesthesia, in terms of both infrastructure and trained manpower. There is an urgent need to evaluate the extent of the problem and to formulate solutions including training programs and adequately equipped high-dependency and ICU facilities with dedicated staff.

With this aim in mind, we at the Post Graduate Institute, Chandigarh are starting a Fellowship course in Pediatric Anesthesiology and Perioperative Intensive Care program this season. We hope this will go to some extent in developing the manpower for this much needed specialty.

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