Anaesthesia for the paediatric outpatient

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Purpose of review

The aim of this review was to discuss recent developments in paediatric anaesthesia, which are particularly relevant to the practitioner involved in paediatric outpatient anaesthesia.

Recent findings

The use of a pharmacological premedication is still a matter of debate. Several publications are focussing on nasal dexmedetomidine; however, its exact place has not yet been defined. Both inhalational and intravenous anaesthesia techniques still have their advocates; for diagnostic imaging, however, propofol is emerging as the agent of choice. The disappearance of codeine has left a breach for an oral opioid and has probably worsened postoperative analgesia following tonsillectomy. In recent years, a large body of evidence for the prevention of postoperative agitation has appeared. Alpha-2-agonists as well as the transition to propofol play an important role. There is now some consensus that for reasons of practicability prophylactic antiemetics should be administered to all and not only to selected high-risk patients.


Perfect organization of the whole process is a prerequisite for successful paediatric outpatient anaesthesia. In addition, the skilled practitioner is able to provide a smooth anaesthetic, minimizing complications, and, finally, he has a clear concept for avoiding postoperative pain, agitation and vomiting.

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