Anaesthesia for the obese child



obesity, body mass index, obstructive sleep apnoea


No single definition of obesity in childhood and adolescence has gained international approval. The body mass index (BMI) alone – body weight (kg) divided by height (m2) – does not describe whether a child is normal in size, overweight or obese. Normal values for BMI vary with age, sex and pubertal status in a nonlinear manner. Instead, the BMI percentages based on the standard deviation within the population are used, which describe the percentage distribution of the BMI in terms of sex and regional origin.

Consensus committees have recommended that children and adolescents be considered overweight if the BMI exceeds the 85th percentile, and obese if the BMI exceeds the 95th percentile, or exceeds 30 at any age.

Author Biography

AZ Bhettay, University of Cape Town

Division of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, University of Cape Town, South Africa






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