Objective: Millions of children are exposed to anaesthetic drugs every day; however, the possible adverse effects of these agents on the central nervous system remain controversial. This study evaluated anaesthesiologists’ and pediatric surgeons’ knowledge and daily practices regarding anaesthesia-induced neurotoxicity.

Methods: A survey consisting of 12 questions was sent to members of the Turkish Anaesthesiology and Reanimation Association and the Turkish Pediatric Surgery Association via the Google forms program.

Results: A total of 202 anaesthesiologists and 51 pediatric surgeons participated in this survey. The results demonstrate that anaesthesiologists and surgeons are aware of the risk of anaesthesia-related neurotoxicity and are willing to take action. Approximately, half of the anaesthesiologists and pediatric surgeons expected to postpone operations lasting at least 3 hours for patients <3 years of age. Also, one-third of the anaesthesiologists would seek feasible and more reliable alternative anaesthetic strategies.

Conclusions: More than two-thirds of the participants knew about the US Food and Drug Administration neurotoxicity warning; however, uncertainty about anaesthesia-related neurotoxicity is ongoing. Many questions remain unanswered. The results of large-scale prospective randomized studies to evaluate the effect of anaesthetics and surgery on the cognitive development of pediatric patients are needed.

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Yıldız, Kozanhan, Aydoğan, Tire, & Sekmenli.
Turkish Journal of Anaesthesiology and Reanimation May 2022