What are the risks and side-effects of a general anaesthetic?

About one in twenty children in Australia are anaesthetised each year. Reliable figures show that Australia is one of the safest countries in the world for children's anaesthesia.

Side effects that may be seen include:

  • A bruise at the cannula site
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Shivering
  • Confusion (delirium)/behavioural disturbance
  • A sore or dry throat
  • Chest infection
  • Damage to lips, teeth or tongue

The risks may depend on the type of surgery and anaesthetic your child is having. Your anaesthetist will be happy to discuss the risks of the anaesthetic specific to your child and their procedure.