Anesthesia and Autistic Children

Recently, my son Hunter had to be sedated with general anesthesia twice in one week. I was very apprehensive about this. I, myself, do not do well with anesthesia, nor does my husband. I experience terrible nausea and low blood pressure. My husband experiences very high blood pressure post operative. So, this added to my anxiety about our son getting sedated twice in one week.

I decided that it would be a good idea to do some homework on the risks of sedation with children on the spectrum and was glad to find a research article about ASD and anesthesia. It was invaluable to me in preparing my son for surgery’s in the future. Anesthesia and ASD is written by and parent of a child on the spectrum that is a CRNA(Certified Nurse Anesthesist).

This article was key to planning a safe and comfortable experience for my son with autism. Children with autism are special in regards to the way they react to medications. It allowed me to be prepared as possible for the experience. The doctor at Children’s Hospital was more than happy to take my information to review and use it to plan for the best possible outcome for my son.

I made sure the doctor was aware of my child’s severe food allergies. Usually, they induce sedation for general surgery with a drug called Propofol. Propofol is an egg based phospholipd drug. This drug should be avoided in children with egg allergies. There are also issues with drug excretion in children with autism. They should be treated like patients decreased renal or liver function. Escentially less drug equaling a better outcome for the child.

I brought a copy of the research article for him to review and he was more than happy to do his own research. My son received the least amount of drugs to keep him comfortable and experienced minimal post op nausea. He was treated with anti-nausea medications and was released home with out any complications from the sedation.


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