The current status of procedural sedation for pediatric patients in out-of-operating room locations

Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2012 Aug;25(4):453-60. doi: 10.1097/ACO.0b013e32835562d8.


Purpose of review: To illustrate the changes that are occurring in the rapidly growing field of pediatric sedation. In the USA and throughout the world, children receive sedation from a multitude of specialists with varying levels of training. The current pediatric sedation literature reflects a growing body of sedation literature by medical specialists other than anesthesiologists. This article will review the controversial use of propofol by nonanesthesiologists and the manner in which this varied group of providers along with government entities, regulatory agencies, and national organizations contribute to the continuing evolution of sedation practices.

Recent findings: The number of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed on children outside of the operating room continues to increase. The growing body of pediatric sedation literature suggests anesthesiologists are no longer at the forefront of pediatric sedation training, education, and research. Articles published by nonanesthesiologists describe pediatric sedation services, safety, and quality initiatives, drugs, and original sedation research. Medications that were considered under the realm of anesthesiologists are utilized by nonanesthesiologists to provide sedation to children. Regulating and government agencies, including the Joint Commission and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services have recently issued statements on the oversight and practice of sedation.

Summary: The direction of pediatric sedation is no longer solely under the leadership of anesthesiologists. The use of anesthetic agents, including propofol, have been administered by nonanesthesiologists and reported as safe and effective agents. Nonanesthesiologists and governmental and regulatory agencies influence the delivery of sedation services. The future direction of pediatric sedation will ultimately depend upon the ability of anesthesiologists to collaborate with specialists, hospital administrators, credentialing committees, and oversight agencies in order to provide high-quality efficient sedation services to children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures*
  • Child
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology*
  • Operating Rooms
  • Pediatrics*
  • Propofol / pharmacology*


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Propofol