Babies Vs General Anesthesia
Babies who are exposed to general anesthesia and surgery more than once before the age of 2 were about three times more likely to develop speech and language problems than those who never underwent surgeries at a young age, researchers found in a recent study by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
The study was conducted using existing data of 5,357 children from the Rochester Epidemiology Project and will be published in the November 2011 issue of Pediatrics. The researchers came to their conclusion after removing factors related to existing health issues.
In the records they looked at, researchers found that 350 babies underwent surgeries before they turned 2. They were matched with 700 babies who did not undergo a procedure with anesthesia. Of the babaies who had multiple surgeries with general anesthesia before age 2, 36.6 percent developed a learning disability. Of those who never had surgery in their first years, 21.2 percent developed learning disabilities.