The downside of paediatric general anaesthesia

Study finds it can affect children's development 

Exposure to general anaesthetic up to age four raises the risk of poor development and reduced literacy and numeracy as measured by school tests, according to a new study.

child hospital

Led by the University of Sydney, the research is based on a data-linkage study of more than 210,000 children.

It found that, compared with a control group, those exposed to general anaesthesia had a:

  • 17% increased risk of poor child development.
  • 34% increased risk of lower numeracy scores on school tests.
  • 23%