Children’s behaviour problems linked to anaesthesia
Posted Oct 22 2008 8:04am
Children exposed to general anaesthetic from an early age could well be at an increased risk of developing behavioural, language or development problems, according to a new study from the US.
Although the findings are preliminary, healthcare professionals are advising parents that they shouldn’t keep children from undergoing surgery that is necessary because of concern over anaesthesia.
Researchers from the Columbia University studied children who were born between 1999 and 2000 that have medical care covered by the New York State Medicaid program.
625 children under the age of 3 were identified as having hernia surgery under a general anaesthetic and compared against 5,000 children who had no history of receiving anaesthesia. Those exposed to anaesthetic were twice as likely to diagnosed with behavioural or developmental disorders.
The team involved with the research emphasised that those who had received anaesthetic could have issues that predisposed them to problems associated with behaviour and development but exposure to anaesthesia many be something that is cause for concern.
Further studies into the affects of anaesthesia on child behaviour disorders will now take place but the researchers suggest that disorders in those exposed to anaesthesia can’t be completely explained by factors such as premature birth, infections or birth weight.
Children suffering with behavioural problems such as ADHD may find alternative medicine and complementary therapy methods beneficial.