Dr. Gal Goldstein, Head of the Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Department, presented the findings of groundbreaking research conducted at Hadassah Hospital. It demonstrates that 90 percent of children with cancer who were daily anesthetized for the entire duration of their treatments are now able to undergo treatment without full anesthesia safely.
“To us, this is a huge achievement for all the parties involved – for the medical staff, concerned parents, and, especially, for the children” – says Dr. Goldstein.
Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem cares for over 100 new children with cancer every year in the inpatient and day-care departments.
Full anesthesia was commonly used among children as radiation treatments require reclining without movement. Even a tiny change in the location of the treatment area, especially if it is the brain, can seriously damage the tissue.
The Hadassah medical team spent the last year developing alternative and holistic methods as it recognized the risks and negative side effects of anesthesia. One of the new techniques is movement therapy to help prepare toddlers and preschoolers for treatment without full anesthesia. Since this project began, the majority (90%) of children aged 2-5 who were previously anesthetized daily have now been able to undergo treatment without full anesthesia for the entire period.