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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
Minerva Anestesiologica 2012 January;78(1):78-87
Spinal anesthesia in pediatric patients
López T., Sánchez F. J., Garzón J. C., Muriel C. ✉
Department of Anesthesiology, University Hospital of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain
Spinal anesthesia (SA) in pediatrics began to be used in the late nineteenth century in multiple procedures, with priority for high-risk and former preterm infants, for its suggested protective role compared to the development of postoperative apnea with general anesthesia (GA). In children, higher doses of local anesthetics are required with a shorter duration of action and a greater hemodynamic stability compared to adults. The puncture must be performed in the L4-L5 or L5-S1 spaces to prevent spinal injuries. The practice of SA in pediatric patients requires skill and experience; failure rates of up to 28% have been reported. The drugs most commonly used for SA are tetracaine and bupivacaine alone or with adjuvants. SA complications are rare and often without consequences, except for postdural puncture headaches and backaches. Although SA is today considered safe and effective for pediatric patients, it remains relatively underutilized compared to GA.