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December 2017

Anesthetics and Cognitive Impairments in Developing Children: What Is Our Responsibility?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora
JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(12):1135-1136. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.3033

For decades, a variety of general anesthetics and sedatives have been used in pediatric medicine with the goal of providing safe and effective care to children during painful and/or uncomfortable procedures. This practice was believed to be innocuous until animal research over the past 20 years brought an uncomfortable realization to our attention: commonly used general anesthetics and sedatives may have a detrimental effect on immature brain development with long-lasting consequences on cognitive and behavioral outcomes.

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