An update on pediatric hospital-based sedation

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2013 Jun;25(3):310-6. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0b013e328360bb92.


Purpose of review: The need for sedation for procedures performed outside the operating room has increased dramatically, and pediatric procedural sedation (PPS) is increasingly performed by practitioners who are not anesthesiologists. With 'sedationists' emerging from various specialties, there are differences in practice and guidelines with regards to presedation assessment, targeted depths of sedation, monitoring requirements, and the training required. Our aim is to identify some of the recent advances in PPS and to describe progress towards greater standardization of practice.

Recent findings: Several studies report attempts to optimize the efficacy of specific pharmaceuticals used in PPS. Ketamine, a dissociative agent, functions uniquely and requires its own sedation practice guidelines. Utilizing less invasive administration of sedation via transmucosal and inhaled routes is gaining popularity. Additionally, replacing subjective measurement of depths of the sedation continuum and the nonstandardized definitions of adverse events with alternatives based on physiological parameters and/or required rescue interventions is underway. Finally, the use of presedation family-centered counseling and adjuncts that provide visual and auditory distraction are enhancing pharmaceutical methods.

Summary: Further multispecialty collaboration and formation of greater consensus with regards to sedation practice are essential to the development of universal guidelines that optimize patient care.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Conscious Sedation / adverse effects
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Conscious Sedation / standards
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives