Preprocedural fasting and adverse events in procedural sedation and analgesia in a pediatric emergency department: are they related?

Mark G Roback, Lalit Bajaj, Joe E Wathen, Joan Bothner
Annals of Emergency Medicine 2004, 44 (5): 454-9

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Fasting time before procedural sedation and analgesia in a pediatric emergency department (ED) was recently reported to have no association with the incidence of adverse events. This study further investigates preprocedural fasting and adverse events.

METHODS: Data were analyzed from a prospectively generated database comprising consecutive sedation events from June 1996 to March 2003. Comparisons were made on the incidence of adverse events according to length of preprocedural fasting time.

RESULTS: Two thousand four hundred ninety-seven patients received procedural sedation and analgesia. Four hundred twelve patients were excluded for receiving oral or intranasal drugs (n=95) or for receiving sedation for bronchoscopy by nonemergency physicians (n=317). A total of 2,085 patients received parenteral sedation by emergency physicians. Age range was 19 days to 32.1 years (median age 6.7 years); 59.9% were male patients. Adverse events observed included desaturations (169 [8.1%]), vomiting (156 [7.5%]), apnea (16 [0.8%]), and laryngospasm (3 [0.1%]). Fasting time was documented in 1,555 (74.6%) patients. Median fasting time before sedation was 5.1 hours (range 5 minutes to 32.5 hours). When the incidence of adverse events was compared among patients according to fasting time in hours (0 to 2, 2 to 4, 4 to 6, 6 to 8, >8, and not documented), no significant difference was found. No patients experienced clinically apparent aspiration.

CONCLUSION: No association was found between preprocedural fasting and the incidence of adverse events occurring with procedural sedation and analgesia.

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