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What anesthesiologists want you to know about preoperative preparation :

June 27, 2019

Editor's note:The 2019 AAP National Conference & Exhibition will take place from Oct. 25-29 in New Orleans.

You are all too familiar with pointless paperwork. But Justin B. Long, M.D., FAAP, wants to assure you that the history and physical (H&P) you do prior to a child having surgery does not fall in that category.

Dr. Long, a pediatric cardiothoracic anesthesiologist at Children’s Healthcare Atlanta, Egleston Children’s Hospital, has reviewed thousands of H&Ps and says information provided by general pediatricians can change the course of anesthetics.

“There may be some elements of the history that may make it impossible to have the patient at either an ambulatory surgery center or an outpatient basis,” he said. “Identifying that early would be useful.”

Dr. Long will outline items in a pre-op H&P that are most helpful to anesthesiologists during a session titled “What Pediatricians Should Know About Anesthesia Risk and Preoperative Clinics” (S2235) from 4-5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 in rooms 225-227 of the convention center. He will be joined by Franklyn Cladis, M.D., associate professor of anesthesiology, UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The pair plan to address:

  • anesthesiologists’ and surgeons’ biggest concerns when a child is referred for surgery;
  • labs and workup needed for children being referred for surgery;
  • how general pediatricians can help parents feel more comfortable about their child going under anesthesia, including addressing concerns about neurotoxicity; and
  • common questions parents ask general pediatricians prior to surgery or a sedated procedure.

Drs. Long and Cladis will review some of the new anesthesia literature and the AAP policy statement on the pediatrician’s role in preparing patients and families for anesthesia and surgery.

“It (the seminar) will help them approach parents who are justifiably nervous that their child is undergoing a surgical procedure and an anesthetic, and other than their general pediatrician may have nowhere to turn except the internet,” said Dr. Long, a member of the AAP Section on Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. “Because they’re the most trusted member of their child’s care team, I want to make sure they have the tools they need to help parents feel comfortable sending their child for this procedure.”

For more coverage of the 2019 AAP National Conference & Exhibition, visit

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