Comparison of two benzodiazepines used for sedation of children undergoing suturing of a laceration in an emergency department

Pediatr Emerg Care. 2002 Apr;18(2):72-4. doi: 10.1097/00006565-200204000-00002.


Objectives: (1) To determine if oral diazepam (POD) is as effective in sedating children less than 6 years of age for laceration repair as oral midazolam (POM) or intranasal midazolam (INM); and (2) To determine if patients stayed longer in the department after sedation when given POD for sedation.

Design/methods: Block-randomized, single-blind trial.

Setting: Tertiary pediatric emergency department.

Participants: Patients 1 to 5 years old with a laceration requiring sutures were enrolled.

Interventions: All patients had topical anesthetic applied to the wound and were randomly assigned to POD 0.5 mg/kg, POM 1.0 mg/kg, or INM 0.4 mg/kg for sedation.

Results: One hundred twenty-nine patients were enrolled, 42 POD, 45 POM, and 42 INM. Each group was similar at baseline for age, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation, previous laceration or sedation, anxiety score, and site of laceration. POM and POD were better tolerated than INM (P = 0.05 and 0.034), respectively. Time to sedation was significantly longer in POD (31.0 +/- 9 min) than INM (26.1 +/- 9 min) (P = 0.011) but there was no significant difference when comparing the other groups. However, this difference was not clinically significant. POD was significantly worse at sedating children compared with POM and INM on all four scores (ie, doctor, nurse, parent, and investigator), but INM and POM were equivalent. Total time in the department was no different between POM and INM or POM and POD, but was significantly different for POD (53.9 +/- 16 min) and INM (48 +/- 12 min); however, this difference was minimal. More patients were said to be drowsy at home in the POM group (51%) than the POD group (32%).

Conclusions: The oral route of delivery of POM and POD was better tolerated than INM. POM and INM were more effective at sedation than POD, but there was no clinical difference between any groups for time to sedation or time to discharge. More patients in the POM group had side effects after leaving the department. POD may be an alternative to POM, but a higher dose may be required, possibly with longer recovery times.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Diazepam / administration & dosage*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Infant
  • Lacerations / surgery*
  • Midazolam / administration & dosage
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Suture Techniques
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Diazepam
  • Midazolam