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The department of pediatric anesthesiology at Dayton Children's consists of specially trained, board-certified/board-eligible pediatric anesthesiologists. Our anesthesiologists provide services to all children who experience a surgical procedure at the medical center. They are also involved in providing preoperative assessment and acute post-operative pain management.

Pediatric anesthesiologists receive special training beyond their anesthesiology residency to provide anesthesia care for infants and children.  A pediatric anesthesiologist is best qualified to evaluate medical problems affecting children and plan a safe anesthetic for each child.  For more about pediatric anesthesiology, see "What is a Pediatric Anesthesiologist?"

Services We Offer

  • Preoperative patient evaluation
  • Preoperative tours and instructions for children and families
  • Anesthesia for diagnostic procedures
  • Intra-operative anesthesia for all types of neonatal and pediatric surgical procedures
  • Acute post-operative pain management
  • Outreach and support services

Acute Pain Program

Pain affects the physical and emotional well-being of children. Whether it is associated with a surgery, an injury, or an unknown cause, pain interferes with recovery, depresses mood, decreases sleep, decreases appetite and social interactions.

The acute pain management service at Dayton Children's is dedicated to decreasing pain post surgery. Our team individualizes treatment plans that combine conventional medicine with targeted approaches.

What are the benefits to the acute pain management program?

·       decreased exposure to narcotic medication

·       reduced post-operative nausea/vomiting

·       faster return of appetite and return of bowel function

·       ability to start physical therapy or other rehab sooner

·       better rest and sleep post-op

·       earlier discharge from the hospital


Examples of targeted pain management options:

Caudal blocks:

A caudal block gives pain relief for 3 to 12 hours.  It numbs the lower half of the body (from the belly button downwards) and so may be used for surgery on the lower trunk, groin or legs.  A caudal block is combined with general anaesthesia so your child will still be asleep for their operation, but they can have less anaesthetic and will need lower doses of other painkillers.

Peripheral Nerve Catheter and Pump for Pain Control (PNC)

The doctor places a flexible tube (catheter) under your child’s skin to help control their pain.  The tube is called a peripheral nerve catheter.  One end of the tube is under the skin around the nerves.  The other end is attached to a pump.  The catheter is placed either while your child is asleep in the operating room or under sedation, before they go into the operating room.

The pump is filled with numbing medicine.  The medicine goes through the tube and numbs the nerves that send pain signals from the area of surgery to the brain.  This blocks the feeling of pain. The medicine from the pump may be enough to manage the pain.  Or, your child can also take the pain medicine his doctor ordered for him if needed.

Spinal Anesthetic

For many operations, patients receive a general anesthetic which produces a state of controlled unconsciousness during the operation.

As an alternative, for operations below the waist, your child can have a spinal anesthetic.  This is when an injection is placed in the back, which makes your child numb from the waist downwards.  This means they cannot feel the operation being done.  Depending on the medical condition and the operation, this may be safer or more comfortable for your child.

Presurgery Tours

Presurgery tours are conducted weekly for children scheduled for surgery and their parents. Parents and children find this helps relieve their anxiety about the upcoming surgery by getting answers to their questions and concerns. Tours are presented every Monday and Wednesday evening (except on major holidays) beginning at 7:00 pm. Parents and their children should meet in the main lobby.


Meet Our Pediatric Anesthesiology Team

Medical director: Thomas A. Taghon, DO, MHA, FAAP

Brian Aitchison, MD
Jason T. Daume, MD
David Gooden, MD

Jennifer Grass, MD
Judy W. Herting, MD
Mark Hofeldt, MD
Hallie Huls, MD
Del T. Kirkpatrick, MD
Ryan Mills, MD
Chandler Parker, DO
Brandon Roberts, MD
Kristen Spisak, MD
Edward J. Walz, MD


Pediatric Anesthesiology Resources

If your child is scheduled for surgery, these resources are available to help you and your child prepare:


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Tune in for the Annual K99.1FM Cares for Kids Radiothon to benefit Dayton Children's November 16-18.

Tune in for the Annual K99.1FM Cares for Kids Radiothon to benefit Dayton Children's November 16-18.

Tune in for the Annual K99.1FM Cares for Kids Radiothon to benefit Dayton Children's November 16-18.

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The Children's Medical Center of Dayton Dayton Children's
The Right Care for the Right Reasons

One Children's Plaza - Dayton, Ohio - 45404-1815