Pediatric critical care physician-administered procedural sedation using propofol: a report from the Pediatric Sedation Research Consortium Database

Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2015 Jan;16(1):11-20. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0000000000000273.


Objective: Increasing demand for pediatric procedural sedation has resulted in a marked increase in provision of pediatric procedural sedation by pediatric critical care physicians both inside and outside of the ICU. Reported experience of pediatric critical care physicians-administered pediatric procedural sedation is limited. We used the Pediatric Sedation Research Consortium database to evaluate a multicenter experience with propofol by pediatric critical care physicians in all settings.

Setting: Review of national Pediatric Sedation Research Consortium database to identify pediatric procedural sedation provided by pediatric critical care physicians from 2007 to 2012. Demographic and clinical data were collected to describe pediatric procedural sedation selection, location, and delivery. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors associated with pediatric procedural sedation-related adverse events and complications.

Measurements and main results: A total of 91,189 pediatric procedural sedation performed by pediatric critical care physicians using propofol were included in the database. Median age was 60.0 months (range, 0-264 months; interquartile range, 34.0-132.0); 81.9% of patients were American Society of Anesthesiologists class I or II. Most sedations were performed in dedicated sedation or radiology units (80.9%). Procedures were successfully completed in 99.9% of patients. A propofol bolus alone was used in 52.8%, and 41.7% received bolus plus continuous infusion. Commonly used adjunctive medications were lidocaine (35.3%), opioids (23.3%), and benzodiazepines (16.4%). Overall adverse event incidence was 5.0% (95% CI, 4.9-5.2%), which included airway obstruction (1.6%), desaturation (1.5%), coughing (1.0%), and emergent airway intervention (0.7%). No deaths occurred; a single cardiac arrest was reported in a 13-month-old child receiving propofol and ketamine, with no untoward neurologic sequelae. Risk factors associated with adverse event included: location of sedation, number of adjunctive medications, upper and lower respiratory diagnosis, prematurity diagnosis, weight, American Society of Anesthesiologists status, and painful procedure.

Conclusions: Pediatric procedural sedation using propofol can be provided by pediatric critical care physicians effectively and with a low incidence of adverse events.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anesthesia / methods*
  • Anesthesia / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Critical Care
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Physicians
  • Propofol / administration & dosage
  • Propofol / adverse effects
  • Propofol / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Propofol