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The anaesthetic management of autistic children

Department of Paediatric Anaesthesia, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, South Australia


Autistic children are difficult to manage and there are no anaesthesia studies to suggest management strategies. We present five case reports which describe an integrated management program taking into account the special needs of autistic children and their families. We describe a method of early warning and recognition of these patients and the establishment of a database to allow review of our program. We also present a process to minimize the stress and problems inherent in the conventional admission process. Oral ketamine (6 to 7 mg/kg) has proven to be the most reliable preoperative sedative for these patients.

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