Preoperative anxiety is associated with a high incidence of problematic behavior on emergence after halothane anesthesia in boys

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Abstract

Background:

In our clinical experience, children who are crying before anesthesia are more likely to show agitated behavior on emergence.

Methods:

One hundred and ten boys aged 3-6 years old (ASA 1) who underwent circumcision were studied. The children were assigned to one of two groups, depending on their attitude during induction: the anxious group and the calm group. Anesthesia was induced by inhalation of halothane in oxygen, and was maintained at 1% throughout surgery. For intra- and postoperative analgesia, caudal block with 0.5 ml/kg of 0.25% plain bupivacaine and topical infiltration with 1 to 2 ml of 1% lidocaine were provided for all patients. The incidence of delirium on emergence was compared between the groups.

Results:

We excluded 4 boys showing signs of incomplete pain relief. Twenty of 27 boys in the anxious group showed a significantly greater incidence of problematic behavior on emergence, compared to 5 of 79 in the calm group.

Conclusion:

The boys who were anxious before anesthesia showed a significantly greater incidence of problematic behavior on emergence from halothane anesthesia, compared with the boys who were calm before anesthesia.

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