The safe and effective use of propofol sedation in children undergoing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures: experience in a pediatric ICU and a review of the literature

Derek S Wheeler, Keith K Vaux, Michael L Ponaman, Bradley W Poss
Pediatric Emergency Care 2003, 19 (6): 385-92

OBJECTIVES: To describe our experience using propofol sedation to facilitate elective diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and to document the safety profile of propofol in this setting.

DESIGN: Retrospective consecutive case series and review of the literature.

SETTING: Pediatric intensive care unit of a United States Navy tertiary care medical center.

PATIENTS: Children receiving propofol for procedural sedation over an 18-month period.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Descriptive features of sedation including adverse events.

RESULTS: During the study period, 91 children received propofol to facilitate the performance of 110 medical procedures. The mean induction dose was 2.41 mg/kg, the mean infusion rate was 179.3 microg/kg/min, and the mean total dose of propofol administered was 4.23 mg/kg. In all cases, sedation was successfully achieved. The average length of stay in the PICU was 108.4 minutes. Three children (3.3%) had transient episodes of oxygen desaturation that improved with repositioning of the airway. No child required placement of an endotracheal tube. Three (3.3%) children experienced hypotension requiring a decrease in the infusion rate of propofol and a 10-mL/kg bolus infusion of normal saline. No cardiac arrhythmias or adverse neurologic effects secondary to propofol infusion were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric intensivists can safely and effectively administer propofol to facilitate the performance of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures outside the operating room setting.

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