Carolinas HealthCare System

If your child needs to undergo a medical or surgical procedure, it’s important to understand what type of anesthesia he or she may need. The expert anesthesiologists at Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, NC, make sure each child is given the appropriate medication to avoid or minimize pain, and are available to answer any questions you may have.

What is General Anesthesia? 

If your child must have a surgical procedure, chances are they will be administered general anesthesia, which places him or her under sedation, unable to feel any pain.

Our pediatric anesthesiologists know the amount of anesthesiology medicine administered to a child is very different from that of an adult. They will monitor your child throughout the procedure, administering the appropriate amount of medication to keep him or her sedated in one of three levels of sedation:

  • Minimal sedation – This level of sedation is used to make a child relax. He or she will remain awake and be able to interact with the doctor and answer questions.
  • Moderate sedation – The child will likely sleep through the procedure, but if the doctor asks a question or touches the child, he or she will respond.
  • Deep sedation – The child will be asleep throughout the procedure. He or she will be closely monitored until the effects of this medication wear off, which is usually an hour or two following the procedure.

How Is It Administered?

General anesthesia is administered through an intravenous catheter (IV). 

Before your child goes in for a procedure, it’s helpful to understand the effects of anesthesia. Read more about anesthesia.