Author(s): Meakin GH
Abstract Share this page
Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Changes in practice and the development of new anesthetic drugs have influenced the use of muscle relaxants in children. This article reviews these developments, and defines the current role and factors affecting the choice of muscle relaxant drugs in pediatric anesthesia. RECENT FINDINGS: The introduction of the laryngeal mask airway as a means of controlling the pediatric airway has reduced the need for muscle relaxants. In cases requiring tracheal intubation, however, a balanced anesthetic technique incorporating a nondepolarizing relaxant provides the best intubating conditions with the minimal potential for adverse effects. The introduction of newer less-toxic, shorter-acting anesthetic drugs has reduced the requirement for muscle relaxants during surgery. Moderate anesthesia with sevoflurane-remifentanil or propofol-remifentanil can keep patients immobile without producing hypotension and facilitate controlled ventilation once the effects of the intubating dose of a muscle relaxant have worn off. SUMMARY: Recent developments in clinical practice have reduced or obviated the need for muscle relaxants in pediatric anesthesia. Muscle relaxants are still indicated for intubation and procedures requiring profound muscle relaxation, and to minimize the amounts of anesthetic drugs given to infants and sick children. Specific relaxants and doses can be chosen to suit the clinical circumstances.
This article was published in Curr Opin Anaesthesiol
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research