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Flu and Cold Season Adds Risks For Child Surgery


(SOUTHBURY, CT)—Flu and cold season is a time when parents brace for the possibility that one or more of their children will be stuck at home recovering from a bad cold or even the flu. But for the parents of children in need of surgery, the worries are much more serious.

According to Dr. Armen Ketchedjian, author of the book Will it Hurt? A Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery, head colds and upper respiratory infections can “raise the risk of a reaction to anesthetic” in children undergoing surgery, particularly if there is a related fever or cough with mucous secretions.

“These conditions may increase the sensitivity of the airway passage lining and increase the likelihood of a reaction similar to the one seen in patients with asthma,” says Dr. Ketch, as he is known to his patients.

Parents concerned that their child’s cold could pose a risk during surgery should make sure that the child’s physician is aware of the condition, according to Dr. Ketch.

“Your child’s physician and anesthesiologist should evaluate your child thoroughly if there is any suspicion that there may be an increased risk with the anesthetic,” he says. “The safety of the child comes first and if it is an elective procedure the physicians may make the decisions to postpone the procedure.”

In Will it Hurt? Dr. Ketch advises that there are a couple of exceptions, when physicians must operate. “If there is an infection related to the medical condition that is to be corrected surgically, or if it is an urgent procedure that cannot wait for the resolution of the infection, it is best to move forward with the procedure.”

For parents concerned with their child’s runny nose or flu-like symptoms, Dr. Ketch advises several measures to insure the child’s safety:

 Make sure you notify your child’s physician as soon as symptoms make themselves known
 Make sure that the runny nose is symptomatic of an actual cold before worrying, as sometimes it is just a runny nose
 Discuss any options for a delay in the surgery with your child’s surgeon only after they have examined the child and made a determination
 Before giving your child any cough medicine, consult with his or her physician to see if it may be forbidden prior to surgery
Now that flu and cold season is upon us, parents of children in need of surgery should be especially vigilant.

Will it Hurt? helps educate parents about pediatric surgery. It is an easy-to-read resource that will give you, your child and your family the help and reassurance you need to make the surgical experience as stress-free as possible.

Listed in The Guide to America’s Top Anesthesiologists by the Consumer Research Council of America, Dr. Ketch trained at Cornell Medical Center, with a fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and a pain management elective at Boston Children’s Hospital. He has also worked to help develop new techniques in ambulatory anesthesia, taught medical students and residents, and cared for more than 10,000 patients.

Dr. Ketch is also the author of the children’s book Golden Apples (winner of the 2008 Reviewer’s Choice Award), a beautifully illustrated book that aims to help educate children about the dangers of drug abuse.

For more information, contact the author directly at

WARREN ENTERPRISES, LLC and author Dr. Armen G. Ketchedjian chose Arbor Books, Inc. ( to design and promote Will It Hurt? A Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery. Arbor Books is an internationally renowned, full-service book design, ghostwriting and marketing firm.

(Will It Hurt? Parent’s Practical Guide to Children’s Surgery by Dr. Ketch; ISBN: 0-9815373-0-8; $14.95; 172 pages; 5½” x 8 ½”; soft cover book with illustrations; WARREN ENTERPRISES, LLC)


 Flu and cold season
 Children’s Surgery
 Children’s health
 parenting and family
 Parent’s Guide

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