Farsi N, Ba'akdah R, Boker A, Almushayt A.
Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, Pediatric Dentistry Division, Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. NFarsi@kau.edu.sa
BACKGROUND: Review of post-operative morbidity reports for pediatric dental care under general anesthesia (GA) show great variations. Until now, no morbidity data has been available to estimate the safety of pediatric patients under GA for dental rehabilitation in Saudi Arabia. The purposes of this study were to (1) investigate post-operative complications associated with dental care under GA and (2) correlate morbidity reports with patient's characteristics, dental procedures, and hospital protocol. METHODS: Study sample included 90 children attending GA for dental treatment at major governmental hospitals in Jeddah. Data were collected from every patient on three occasions, intra-operatively at the operating room, and post-operatively via phone calls in the first and third days after operation. RESULTS: Results showed that 99% of the children had one or more complaints in the first day in contrast to only 33% in the third day. Inability to eat (86%), sleepiness (71%), and pain (48%) were the most common complaints in the first day, followed by bleeding (40%), drowsiness (39%), sore throat (34%), vomiting (26%), psychological changes (24%), fever (21%), cough (12%), and nausea (8%). A great significant complaints reduction was reported by the third post-operative day. Age, gender, admission type of the patients and GA duration were the factors that showed a significant relationship with post-operative complaints. CONCLUSION: Post-operative morbidity was common, but mostly of mild severity and limited to the first day. Hospital staff efforts should be directed to control commonly reported postoperative complaints.