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COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Propofol and halothane versus sevoflurane in paediatric day-case surgery: induction and recovery characteristics

J K Moore, E W Moore, R A Elliott, A S St Leger, K Payne, J Kerr
British Journal of Anaesthesia 2003, 90 (4): 461-6
12644418

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare the induction and recovery characteristics associated with propofol induction and halothane maintenance with sevoflurane anaesthesia in paediatric day surgery.

METHODS: In total, 322 children were assigned randomly to i.v. propofol induction and halothane/nitrous oxide maintenance or sevoflurane/nitrous oxide alone. The patients' age, sex, and type of surgery were recorded, as were the times required for anaesthetic induction, maintenance, recovery and time to discharge home. Postoperative nausea and vomiting, and the incidence of adverse events during induction and recovery were also noted.

RESULTS: No significant differences were detected in age, sex, type of surgery performed or intraoperative opioid administration. Excitatory movement was more common during induction with sevoflurane. The mean time required for induction with propofol was 3.1 min compared with 5 min in the sevoflurane group (P<0.001). The recovery time was shorter in the sevoflurane group compared with propofol/halothane (23.2 vs 26.4 min, P<0.002). The incidence of delirium in recovery was greater in the sevoflurane group (P<0.001). There was no difference between groups in the time spent on the postoperative ward before discharge home. On the postoperative ward the incidence of both nausea and vomiting was significantly higher in the sevoflurane group (P=0.034). Five children were admitted to hospital overnight, none for anaesthetic reasons.

CONCLUSIONS: The increased incidence of adverse events during induction, postoperative nausea and vomiting and postoperative delirium in the sevoflurane group suggests that sevoflurane is not ideal as a sole agent for paediatric day case anaesthesia.

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