Anaesthesiologists caring for children manage patients of different ages (from the premature to late teenagers), presenting with many different medical conditions and undergoing anaesthesia for a variety of diagnostic or surgical procedures. Perioperative complications are more common in neonates, infants and young children when compared with adults. Equally, it is well established that severe anaesthesia related complications have a 10 times increased mortality rate in children as compared to adults. The higher perioperative morbidity and mortality in neonates and small children undergoing anaesthesia is attributed to the reduced cardio-respiratory reserves in this population.
Another major contributing factor is the level of competence and experience in paediatric anaesthesia care that the clinical team is able to provide to this vulnerable and challenging group of patients. As the pediatric caseload in Switzerland is insufficient to train and maintain pediatric expertise for all anesthetists sufficiently, regionalisation of treatment of younger children in centers with experienced staff and appropriate infrastructure is mandatory. Likewise, older children should be cared for by anesthetists with regular practice in these age groups.
Based on the results of the “Paediatric Anaesthesia Project 2030” and further endorsed by the results of the multicentre trial on severe critical events in paediatric anaesthesia (APRICOT), a working group from the SGKA/SSAP and the SSAPM established a framework of Swiss National guidelines as a first step in the harmonisation of practice in paediatric anaesthesia. The second step shall focus on training and education.
* main focus = Schwerpunkt = Formation approfondie (postgraduée) = Formazione approfondita (perfezionamento professionale)