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Electroconvulsive Therapy in Children and Adolescents

Daniel Gih

, Emma Taylor

, and Bernard Biermann


This chapter describes the safe use of anesthesia during ECT. Topics included are the medical work up necessary for adolescents prior to anesthesia, an adequately equipped facility where ECT is administered, and medications administered for effective sedation, muscle relaxation and to prevent side effects. The chapter also describes adjusting or discontinuing psychotropic agents that the adolescent may be receiving at the time of ECT. Many psychiatric medications are known to interact with anesthetic agents or with the seizure activity during ECT and should be adjusted to minimize risk, side effects and to maximize the therapeutic benefit of the ECT treatment. Also included in the chapter is discussion about the risks associated with anesthesia. However, there are no data that indicate that anesthesia or ECT in adolescents is riskier than in adults.

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