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This one is about: Surgery Postponements Due to Cold (Anesthesiologist View)

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A question was asked about surgery being postponed due to a cold.
Here are some thoughts by Amy Beth Hilton, MD

      (Wide Smiles, anesthesiology consultant)

As an anesthesiologist I can tell you that your pediatrician is right that giving Morgan something to improve the cough will not change whether or not the surgery can go forward, and may mislead the surgeon and anesthesiologist into proceeding when they shouldn't. The real issue is the fact that the child has an upper respiratory tract infection, which also causes the lower respiratory tract (trachea and bronchial tubes) to be more irritable. During the anesthetic, this irritability might cause the airway to close up and make it difficult to get oxygen into Morgan's lungs. Usually this can be reversed with medications, but sometimes can be life-threatening. One thing that _might_ be worth doing is starting antibiotics so that Morgan does not develop an ear, sinus, or bronchial infection on top of the viral infection, which would make this irritability even worse. You should ask your surgeon to check with an anesthesiologist at that hospital who does pediatric surgery whether they would proceed if Morgan appears well on the day of surgery, knowing about the recent cold. Some will, some won't, depending on a lot of factors. Hard as it is to arrange your life and your mind in preparation for a child's surgery, you would not want to put Morgan at any increased risk for surgery that could be done at a later date. When a child has frequent colds, sometimes it is necessary, though, to just go ahead, since there will never be any "good" time.

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