Pediatric anesthesia is no longer a small subspecialty, but an important sector where developments in the new century have brought effective and safe management to children in the perioperative period. Unfortunately, what is common daily practice in the high-income countries with all the guidelines, checklists, instruments, and dedicated pediatric anesthesiologists is often only a dream in the low- and middle-income countries where the basic anesthesia services for improving the high rate of morbidity and mortality still are lacking. Anesthesia given by nonphysicians, with no monitoring, lack of elementary supplies, poor control of infections and hemorrhage, and no water or electricity are very often the 'usual' conditions. The World Health Organization is working hard to offer teams, basic equipments, and teaching and what is needed to offer children of these countries the same opportunities given in the industrialized countries. Other projects such as the Lifebox Project have a similar aim. This paper outlines some of what organizations are doing around the world, with different strategies all having the same target: safe pediatric anesthesia.
© 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.