Postanesthesia complications in pediatric patients with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection: A cohort study

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Report of a single centre, retrospective, case–control study comparing complications after anaesthesia within 90 days of a known positive PCR, as compared to matched controls. The study period was between January 3–October 7, 2020. The complications looked for were at the serious end of the scale (unexplained escalation in care <48hrs post anaesthesia, cardiac, respiratory, thrombotic, and haemorrhagic events within 30 days), in addition to 30- day mortality and hospital length of stay. The cohort included 114 patients who were PCR positive, and 227 controls matched to age and type of surgery. The risk of postoperative complications was not increased in patients who had a positive PCR test more that 7 days prior to anaesthesia compared to matched controls.


The low rate of complications in paediatric patients having anaesthesia more than 7 days after a positive PCR is reassuring. The sample size appears to be too small to assess the risk of the most severe (and rare) complications (e.g. death). Much has changed in terms of circulating variants since this data was collected early in the pandemic.

Reviewed by Ian Miles