Repetitive inhalation endotracheal anaesthesia for cobalt radiotherapy in a child
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PURPOSE: Provision of general anaesthesia in areas remote from the operating room creates many difficult challenges especially if required for repeated radiotherapy in the prone position. This case illustrates these problems and some innovative solutions. CLINICAL FEATURES: A nine-year-old girl with medulloblastoma became extremely distressed whenever cobalt radiotherapy was attempted. Sedation with midazolam and high dose propofol infusion failed to achieve satisfactory conditions and caused concerns regarding airway management. The patient received a total of 37 endotracheal anaesthetics in the prone position using isoflurane in oxygen. Activated charcoal was used to scavenge anaesthetic vapors and adequate gas supplies were assured by connecting an "H' size tank to the oxygen pipeline inlet of the anaesthesia machine. Measurement of isoflurane in exhaust gases using gas chromatography confirmed the effectiveness of scavenging. No serious complications occurred related to repeated anaesthesia. CONCLUSION: The methods and equipment described permitted safe delivery of repeated inhalation general anaesthesia for radiotherapy. The same methods could be applied to anaesthesia in other remote locations.
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