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Preparing Children for Anesthesia and Surgery

Am J Dis Child. 1961;101(5):650-653. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.04020060108016.
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There are two principal aims in preparing the pediatric patient for operation. The first is to control his emotions and fears, or to prepare his mind, while the second is to put him in the best physical condition, or to prepare his body. Since methods at our disposal for reducing excitement can interfere with physiological well being, our two principal aims can conflict unless they are carefully balanced.

When the term "child" or "pediatric" is used, one may have a tendency to picture a normal 5- or 6-year-old boy as the typical child, or plan a standard approach and then attempt to apply it to all children. This would make life easy, but of course it is impossible. Pediatric patients differ tremendously from one another, and the approach used in preparation must be varied accordingly. To illustrate the necessity for this variable approach, I should like to present several different


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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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