Neuraxial anaesthetic techniques in children: Using the evidence to make it safer

  • A Z Bhettay Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital


Persistent postsurgical pain (PPSP) is a recognised complication following a surgical insult in children, with a prevalence of 20% at one year postop.1 As anaesthetists caring for children, the question posed to us is simply: How can this child be guided through this traumatic event safely, while at the same time minimising his/her pain and suffering? We tend to prioritise safety, while largely neglecting pain control. This results in significant moderate-severe postsurgical pain, with all the deleterious consequences thereof. In the South African context, where postoperative pain management is a largely neglected priority and concerns around nursing care in wards are prevalent, neuraxial techniques remain an important method of providing good postoperative analgesia for painful procedures.

Author Biography

A Z Bhettay, Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital
Department of Anaesthesia and Pain Medicine Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital
FCA Refresher Course