Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Millions of children undergo seemingly safe general anesthesia and sedation to facilitate procedures located in surgery, imaging suites, radiology suites, emergency departments, and intensive care units. With appropriate doses and administration, anesthetics are thought to be fully reversible and free from lasting harm. However, those assumptions are being challenged with recent research documenting anesthesia-induced neurotoxicity with subsequent neurological sequelae. A comprehensive literature review will be performed using medical databases including CINAI-IL, Google Scholar, Medline, and PubMed. The information gathered will be presented at the North Dakota Association of Nurse Anesthetists bi-annual meeting in Bismarck, North Dakota and to the anesthesia department at Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota to raise awareness and further their knowledge on this topic. Although information is rapidly accumulating and experimental findings are certainly sound, additional research is vital to close the gaps on this phenomenon. This research is needed in order to determine neurological impairment within the pediatric population, nature of the deficits, and prevention. Compelling evidence obtained in studies warrants concern and caution. Further investigation is needed to adequately address this critical issue. Alternatives to volatile anesthetics (e.g. opioid-based anesthesia, regional anesthesia), or delaying elective surgeries until an older age may be warranted