1.13.2021

The other night I was clicking through more really old blogs - most abandoned back around 2006-2014.  I found myself on a blog of a doctor - he is a neonatologist - he works with the itty bitty newborns in the hospital.  I was skimming through random posts but one of them really bothered me and has stuck with me.

As a matter of fact I felt rather sick to my stomach, hurt and angry all at the same time.

The doctor (not doing the surgery but waiting on the side to care for the baby if needed after) was chatting with the anesthesiologist before the surgery and the anesthesiologist mentioned he was nervous because the baby was so tiny.  He said he was using fentanyl as the anesthetic, and they only use one or two micrograms per kilogram.  The doctor couldn't believe it, because that amount is typically what they would use as a simple painkiller in the NICU for the babies;  for anesthesia you would need 10 times that. 

Apparently (at the time) since there wasn't conclusive research on the topic of how much was safe to use on babies, the poor little ones often had major surgery with no anesthesia.  

For example, the surgery this doctor was there to oversee and wait to be done was to get his PDA ligated; it involves cutting an incision around the side of the baby's chest and tying or clipping off an open blood vessel close to the heart.

Without anesthesia.

Some simply give the newborns sugar water as their 'pain killer' as they say giving a baby a bottle of sucrose makes them stop crying and it soothes them so they figure it must be a painkiller.

As someone who has spent her entire life literally around babies I wanted to rip someone's fucking head off when I found out surgery was often and routinely done on babies without anesthesia.

I would like to go back in time and make every single fucking surgeon who would do this, go through surgery themselves without any anesthesia.  I'll give them a bottle of sugar water - let them suck on that.

Now... the blog admitted this was many years ago - he thought in the 1990's.  That didn't help my anger though because I had babies in the 90's.  That could have been one of MY babies having their chests sliced open without anesthesia.  

I believe today we have come far enough that we give our babies pain relief during surgeries and spinal taps.  They may not have then,  but I hope to God they are intelligent enough to do so now.  It's a slippery slope to research because it hurts my Mama's heart way too much to even think about it, much less read about it.  

I know in our own family one of our little ones recently (2 years ago) had kidney surgery and he was given anesthesia (he was 4 months old).   Because of this I assumed it had always been so... and had NO IDEA until I read this neonatologist discussing how appalled he was when he first found out surgeries were done on the babies without anesthesia. 

I have no reason to mention it on Coffee Talking other than it's just one more random thought that has been going through my head over and over since I read it.  Even knowing babies are given pain relief now doesn't really help because I'm still hurting for all those babies in the 80's and 90's that endured surgery without.  Oh my heart hurts for them.

 

That's all.