Talking with Bob Rappaport, former director, Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction Products, Office of New Drugs, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA. Dr. Rappaport retired from government service September, 2014.
Scientific studies in young animals have shown that commonly used anesthetics and sedation drugs can be harmful to the developing brain. However, there has not been a clear link between the use of these drugs and brain development in humans. More high-quality research is greatly needed in this area. The FDA and the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) have partnered on Strategies for Mitigating Anesthesia-Related neuro-Toxicity in Tots (SmartTots), with the goal of ensuring the safe use of drugs for surgery and procedures for the millions of infants and young children who undergo anesthesia or sedation each year.