FDA Warning: Anesthesia and Developing Brains

A good review on the issue of anesthesia and the developing brain: DB Andropoulos, MF Greene. NEJM 2017; 376: 905-7.

The authors from Texas Children’s Hospital comment on the prior studies and how their approach has changed since the FDA on December 14, 2016 issued a “Drug Safety Communication” (www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm532356.htm).  The FDa warning targets anesthesia in children less than 3 yrs of age and pregnant women in the 3rd trimester who undergo anesthesia for >3 hrs.

At Texas Children’s, the authors state that the FDA warning is now discussed with parents of all children younger than 3 yrs receiving an anesthetic. The authors, however, worry that the “FDA warning will cause delays for necessary surgical and diagnostic procedures.”

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