November 2, 2022

Wildfire smoke linked to adverse events in pediatric patients under anesthesia

By: Judy Mathias

Editor's Note

This study from the University of California San Francisco finds that pediatric patients with risk factors for respiratory complications had a greater incidence of adverse events under general anesthesia during periods of unhealthy air quality caused by wildfire smoke.

A total of 625 pediatric patients were included in the analysis. Among the findings:

  • The overall risk of a respiratory complication was 42.4% (265 of 625 children).
  • In children without risk factors, the risk of adverse events did not change during unhealthy air quality periods (102 of 253, 40.3%), compared with healthy air quality periods (95 of 226, 42.0%).
  • In children with risk factors, the risk of adverse events increased from 36.8% (25 of 68) during healthy air quality periods to 55.1% (43 of 78) during unhealthy air quality periods.

The researchers concluded that in pediatric patients with underlying risk factors for respiratory complications under general anesthesia, postponing elective anesthetics should be considered when air quality is poor.




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