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Visiting SickKids

Pre-Anesthesia screening appointment questions

Please be prepared to answer some of the following questions during the Pre-Anesthesia Screening Process so our staff can determine your child's level of risk before their surgery:

General Questions

  • Has your child ever had a problem with anesthesia before?
  • Has anyone in either parent's families had problems with anesthesia before?
  • Was your child born prematurely?
  • Were there any problems at birth?
  • Can your child exercise or play normally?
  • Does your child have any:
    • Breathing problems?
      • Snoring?
      • Stridor?
      • Sleep apnea?
      • Breath holding spells?
      • Any other condition which may interfere with their sleep at night or nap times?
    • Heart problems?
      • Heart murmur?
      • Cardiac disease?
      • Other?
    • Problems with his/her brain or nervous system?
      • Seizures?
      • Autism?
      • Developmental delay?
      • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
      • Bipolar disorder?
      • Other?
    • Swallowing difficulties or do things come back up on him/her - reflux?
    • Problems with his/her joints?
    • Problems with his/her muscles?
    • Genetic or metabolic disorders?
    • Problems with his/her liver or kidneys?
    • Was your child ever anemic? Does your child bruise easily or bleed abnormally?
    • Any family history with the sickle cell trait or disease?
    • Has you child been hospitalized in the past 12 months, here at SickKids or anywhere else?
    • Has your child been exposed to anyone with any infectious diseases within the last month/year?
    • Does your child have any behavioural issues or problems at school?
    • Is your child followed by any other doctor either at SickKids or elsewhere? 
      • Cardiologist
      • Neurologist
    • Any other specialist
    • If so, when was your child's last visit with the specialist?
    • Is your child due for a followup with any of the above specialists?
  • Additional information regarding your child's/ teen's health we should know about?

Is your child on any medications?

Two girls smilingIncluding:

Please ensure that all of your child's health care providers are aware of the medications your child is taking.

Health care providers include: the surgeon, anesthesiologist, clinic nurses, pharmacist and your child's family doctor and/or paediatrician

Please review which medications need to be continued pre-operatively, and which may need to be either stopped or require a dosage adjustment.

You may begin by completing the medication worksheet; it provides you with a column to list all of your child's medications.

  • Medication History Record

Does your child have any known allergies to the following:

  • Foods?
  • Drugs?
  • Other substances?

If the patient is an adolescent or young adult they may have the option to be interviewed privately and asked the following:

For all adolescent and young adults:

  • Do you smoke cigarettes: How many? How often?
  • Do you drink alcohol: How much? How often? Which drinks?
  • Do you use any other substances: Which substances? How much? How often?
  • Additional information regarding your health we should know about?
Four teens smiling

For all female adolescent and young adults:


  • Have you begun menstruation (your period)?
  • Is your cycle regular, i.e. monthly?
  • When was the date of your last normal menstrual period?

Please note: All females over the age of 12 and/or menstruating will receive a urine pregnancy test prior to receiving general anesthesia.


  • Do you use birth control: Which method do you use?
  • Do you take the birth control pill regularly?
  • Is there any chance you might be pregnant?

Please note: If you are using the birth control pill, please review with your physician IF there is any need to adjust when to take it.  With certain surgical procedures, certain medications (i.e. birth control pills) may need to be stopped temporarily and other precautions reviewed/advised.