I remember going over the anesthesia plan with the family of a 10-year-old boy who needed an emergency appendectomy. After getting the room ready (this is before midazolam), when I went to get the child I noticed that he was almost in hysterics – not the usual reaction in this easy-to-work-with age group. I stopped to explore what the problem was and what came to light was that the child had been told by a family member that he was going to be put to sleep. That is what had happened to his pet dog that he never saw again. So no wonder he was upset! After explaining the differences and allowing his granddad to accompany him into the O.R., the induction went smoothly.

Words do matter. The English language may be the second most spoken (Mandarin being number...

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