Anaesthesia for children with epidermolysis bullosa: a review of 20 years' experience

G. Iohom, B. Lyons
2001 European Journal of Anaesthesiology  
and objective Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare, genetically determined disorder characterized by excessive susceptibility of the skin and mucosa to separate from the underlying tissues after mechanical trauma. Patients suffering from this disease may have multiple medical problems, but the risk of anaesthesia is attributed mainly to oropharyngeal involvement; airway management may be hazardous and preservation of mucosa and skin integrity problematical. There is a paucity of data in the
more » ... ata in the literature concerning the perioperative management of children with epidermolysis bullosa. We present our experience of managing 54 general anaesthetics (and two local anaesthetics) over the past 20 years. Methods The case notes of 16 children with epidermolysis bullosa were reviewed. The children underwent surgical procedures under local or general anaesthesia over a 20-year period. Results Fifty-four general and two local anaesthetics were administered for 58 procedures in 10 children (mean age 12.6 years). Surgical procedures included oesophageal dilatation (24), insertion/revision of gastrostomy (16), dental procedures (10), hand surgery (2), skin biopsy (2) and others (4). Anaesthesia was induced by inhalation in 73.4% of patients and the airway was maintained with an endotracheal tube in 64.8%. Monitoring of anaesthesia was performed with pulse oximetry (89%), whereas electrocardiography and non-invasive blood pressure monitoring were used in 16.6% of cases each. The mean duration of anaesthesia was 64 min. Tracheal intubation was dif®cult in two of the ®ve children who were intubated. Mucocutaneous blistering occurred in three children, otherwise there was no attributable morbidity. Conclusion With maximal skin and mucous membrane protection, anaesthesia in children with epidermolysis bullosa may be undertaken with few sequelae.
doi:10.1046/j.1365-2346.2001.00916.x pmid:11580781 fatcat:nlpb5c4cgbda3iqp2fsuhloppu