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At Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, we believe parents and guardians can contribute to the success of their child’s visit and we invite you to participate. Please read the following information to learn about this medication, its use for your child’s surgery, and how you can help.
General anesthesia makes your child’s whole body go to sleep and is needed for certain tests and surgeries so that his or her reflexes will be completely relaxed. General anesthesia makes certain surgeries and tests easier and safer to do because your child will not feel any pain during the procedure or have any memory of it.
Caudal anesthesia is given with general anesthesia to block pain in the legs, low back, belly and lower trunk area. It is an injection (shot) of local anesthetic that is given in the part of the back where your child sits. A caudal allows the anesthesiologist to give a smaller amount of general anesthesia during the surgery, and also provides up to 4 hours of pain relief in that area after the surgery.
When general anesthesia is needed, there are important rules for eating and drinking that must be followed in the hours before the procedure. One business day before your child’s procedure, you will receive a phone call from a nurse between the hours of 1 and 9 p.m. (Nurses do not make these calls on weekends or holidays.) Please have paper and a pen ready to write down these important instructions.
Once your child has been registered for the surgery, a member of the anesthesia staff will meet with you to take your child’s vital signs, weight and medical history. As the parent or legal guardian, you will be asked to sign a consent form before the anesthesia is given.
While your child is asleep, his or her heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and blood oxygen level will be checked continuously.
When your child is moved to the recovery room, you will be called so that you can be there as he or she wakes up.
After your child is discharged and goes home, he or she might still be groggy and should take it easy for the day.
If your child has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor needs to know about, please call the Department of Anesthesiology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh before the surgery and ask to speak with a nurse. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs your child might have.
Department of Pediatric Anesthesiology
Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
One Children’s Hospital Drive
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.