Thiopental (Pentothal) sodium has long been considered an acceptable anesthetic agent in adults. Its use in infants and children, however, has been largely limited to its rectal administration as a basal anesthesia. The intravenous administration to be described provides a safe anesthesia for patients in this young age group.1 Since the limits of physiological balance in infants and children are narrow, only small deviations from the normal can be tolerated for any length of time.2 Maintenance of a patent airway with sufficient aeration of the lungs must be guaranteed. Not only must adequate quantities of oxygen be delivered to the alveoli, but sufficient dilution of the alveolar contents is required to eliminate the carbon dioxide build-up. Therefore, in the infant and frequently in the older child, endotracheal intubation is advisable. Assisted respiration in excess of the normal tidal air assures adequate gaseous exchange.
Intravenous thiopental anesthesia has certain