Anaesthetic management of bone marrow transplant recipients less than two years of age

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The charts and anaesthetic records of 97 infants less than two years of age who underwent bone marrow transplantation at the University of Minnesota from 1978–1992 were retrospectively reviewed. These infants underwent 564 general anaesthetics. There were 48 perioperative complications, most (39) involving the airway. There were 20 difficult intubations occurring in 13 patients. The causes of the difficult intubations were anatomical abnormalities (12), mucositis (4), pharyngeal oedema (3) and emesis upon induction of anaesthesia (1). Four intraoperative deaths occurred. The deaths were caused by haemorrhage (2), pulmonary embolism (1) and myocardial ischaemia (1). Four patients died within 72 h of surgery; one from cerebral oedema following an intraoperative cardiac arrest, one from fungal septicaemia, one from haemorrhage and one from multiple organ failure following an intracerebral haematoma. Infants undergoing bone marrow transplantation are at high risk for perioperative morbidity and mortality, particularly from complications involving the airway, bleeding or sepsis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-114
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Anesthesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1995


  • bone marrow transplantation: anaesthesia
  • infants
  • mortality
  • mucositis
  • perioperative complications


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