Anaesthesia plays spoilsport in children’s learning

March 27th, 2009 - 6:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 27 (IANS) Children under four years who are administered general anaesthesia are much more vulnerable to the risk of developing learning impairment compared to others of similar age, according to a new study.
Randall Flick, a paediatrician at Rochester’s Mayo Clinic, and his colleagues identified 593 children born between 1976 and 1982 who underwent anaesthesia before the age of four and more than 4,700 others who did not.

Children undergoing anaesthesia twice were found to be 59 percent more likely to be learning impaired. If they got it for three or more times, then they had more than double the chances of developing these conditions than other unanaesthetised children.

Children who remained under anaesthesia for more than two hours, however, faced the greatest risk in this connection, a Mayo Clinic release said.

“This is indeed a very important and in many ways a thorough study,” said Tom Hansen, a paediatric-anaesthesiologist at Denmark’s Odense University Hospital.

The findings are slated for publication in the April edition of Anaesthesiology.

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