Why Avoid the "Pilot's Mask"?

Why Choose PeDIA?​

No child likes needles. Given the choice, the vast majority of children and  parents would choose a gas-filled mask over a needle to "go to sleep" for surgery.  At first glance, it appears the perfect technique.  In reality, however, a "mask induction" can be just as scary and uncomfortable as an intravenous needle.  

Well-meaning anesthesia providers promise balloons, stickers, and a chance to blow into "a pilot's mask.".  Once the child enters the cold and sterile environment of the operating room (OR), they soon realize they've been shammed.    Once the "pilot's mask" is secured, the child will usually push away the from the feeling of confinement.  This is compounded when the OR staff hold the child's arms and legs in an effort to still them, a technique euphemistically referred to as “Bbrutane.”  A standard induction consists of one--part anesthesia and two-parts brute force.  When the caustic-smelling gasses fill the mask, the child may respond by crying, screaming, and kicking all in an effort to escape the scent and sense of suffocation.  All the while, the anesthesia provider tries to assure a surprised and sometimes horrified the parent that the child's reaction is normal.  True, it is the norm.  But should normal be accepted?  

The issues of a standard mask induction persist even after the child is asleep.  In the postoperative anesthesia care unit (PACU), there is potential for increased pain and a form of delirium manifested by thrashing and crying. Once discharged, parents report signs of maladaptive behavioral changes such as regression, aggression, and mistrust towards healthcare providers.  Finally, a Bbrutane-mask induction is not a recipe for patient satisfaction.    

PeDIA resolves these problems while fostering a sense of trust and patient satisfaction.  Since a child's best coping mechanism is play, we've incorporated fun and games into induction.  Instead of resisting the "stinky mask,", children eagerly play with participate, using toy-like distraction devices to participate and help in their own induction.   PeDIA has the the perfect ingredients to counter the bad taste of a mask induction.   

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​​​ Our Mission
The mission of PeDIA, LLC is to create a New Paradigm for pediatric induction of anesthesia.
Our Vision is to ensure every child has a mask-free, stress-free and stellar induction experience.  

​​PeDIA resolves the problems of traditional mask induction while fostering a sense of trust and patient satisfaction.  Since a child's best coping mechanism is play, we've incorporated fun and games into induction so there’s no more resisting the "stinky mask.".

With PeDIA, children are encouraged to sit up and participate in their own induction without the  need for the “Brutane.”  Simply replace the mask at the elbow of the anesthesia circuit with the PeDIA device, turn up oxygen/nitrous/gas flows and hand it to the child.  Since PeDIA resembles a familiar a balloon, it eliminates the unknown and and turns panic into play.  Play is an effective coping mechanism for children and gives them a them a sense of control and dignity.  With very little instruction, a child will inhale and exhale through the whistle mouthpiece of the PeDIA device, rewarding them with a pleasant sound as each respiratory cycle inflates and deflates their balloon.  pParents are rewarded with smiles from their child, putting them at ease, and the operating room staff, surgeon, and anesthesia care givers are rewarded with a smooth, inhalation induction.    

PeDIA has the the perfect ingredients to counter the problems of resistance with a mask induction as well as increase patient and parental satisfaction.   

After 25 years delivering anesthesia, one four-year-old patient changed my ideas of "acceptable" practice. 
                       *zeke lost his eye to retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye, two years before I met him.  By the age of four, he  was already a veteran of the operating room (OR). like any veteran of war, he had a PTSD and a lot of street smarts.  There was no fooling him with promises of stickers, balloons, and a "pilot's mask.".  In fact, the moment I stepped into his room, he screamed at the top of his lungs, "no mask, no mask!". he continued to yell and cry as we wheeled him to the or...past other patients, their families.  anyone within earshot heard his pleas for help.  It was Heartbreaking. 

When we finally reached the operating room, the team applied "Brutane", an anesthesia euphemism which translates to one-part anesthesia and two-parts brute force.  We held him down--literally holding her hands, legs and head still as I forced the anesthesia mask down on his face.  Between flailing limbs and crying gasps, Zeke breathed the caustic-smelling anesthetic and eventually "fell asleep". Once his teary-eyed mother was escorted back to the waiting room, we finished the case.  For the rest of the day, I felt...dirty.  

Zeke isn't alone in her fear of "the mask".  Fifty percent of children experience significant anxiety during mask placement.  Half of those children show signs of maladaptive behavior changes at home such as regression, aggression, bed-wetting, nightmares and night terrors and mistrust of medical personnel.  This usually lasts two weeks following a bad preoperative experience like Zeke's.  Another 25% have symptoms that last for six months and 7% linger for a year or, like Zeke, many more years.  Now here's a surprising twist: even the children who
appears calm can actually be terrified.  Don't confuse passivity as acceptance or tolerance.  It's a natural fear reaction: fight, flight...or freeze. 

For the last 100 years, children have suffered emotional and psychological trauma because of this antiquated method.  Why?  Because this standard 
method has been accepted as 'normal'.  But should normal be accepted if it's harmful?  Of course not.  But there has been no viable alternative.  
Until now.

The next time I met Zeke, I came prepared with the PeDIA.  He met me with the same teary-eyed, screaming behavior but, once in the OR, I Handed him the "new anesthesia balloon".  Without any instruction, she placed the whistle-mouthpiece  of the balloon it in her mouth and started breathing in and out, delighted at the movement of the balloon and whistling sounds.Within a few breaths, he was asleep.  We finished induction without a problem.  Then next month when Zeke and I met, we were great friends.  In the OR, he snatched the balloon from my hand, pushed me away and, with all the independence of a confident four-year-old said, "I can do it myself!". And he did.  After that, I knew every child a PeDIA of their own. 

The Pediatric Device for Induction of Anesthesia (PeDIA) is the world's first mask-free system and method for inhalation induction.  It's the softer, friendlier way to help children drift off to sleep and allows them to use their best coping mechanism: Play! It also eases the experience for the parents, surgeon and staff.  It may even help the facility; nothing prompts a five-star rating in parental satisfaction like a happy child.  So next time your child or patient needs anesthesia, make a better choice.  Choose PeDIA.

For more information on this revolutionary Pediatric Device, watch our video and sign up for updates. *Patient name changed to protect privacy.