There are compelling preclinical data that common general anesthetics cause increased neuroapoptosis in juvenile animals. Retrospective studies demonstrate that young children exposed to anesthesia have school difficulties, which could be caused by anesthetic neurotoxicity, perioperative hemodynamic and homeostatic instability, underlying morbidity, or the neuroinflammatory effects of surgical trauma. Unnecessary procedures should be avoided. Baseline measures of blood pressure are important in determining perioperative blood pressure goals. Inadvertent hypocapnia or moderate hypercapnia and hyperoxia or hypoxia should be avoided. Pediatric patients should be maintained in a normothermic, euglycemic state with neutral positioning. Improving outcomes of infants and children requires the collaboration of anesthesiologists, surgeons, pediatricians and neonatologists.

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