J Korean Med Assoc.  2013 Apr;56(4):271-278. 10.5124/jkma.2013.56.4.271.

Procedural sedation and analgesia in children

  • 1Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea. jhs@inha.ac.kr


As various diagnostic and treatment technologies evolve, the performance of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures on pediatric patients outside operating rooms is rapidly becoming more common. Procedural sedation and analgesia refers to the use of sedatives and analgesics to provide anxiolysis, analgesia, and immobilization during the procedure. There is a need for a common guideline that may be used by different health professionals, including anesthesiologists, pediatricians, emergency medicine physicians, dentists, radiologists, and others that are involved in these settings. Furthermore, during the entire process an anesthesiologist should be responsible for the training of those involved. Procedural sedation and analgesia is a branch of clinical medicine that includes informed consent, fasting before sedation, patient evaluation, medication administration, patient monitoring, recovery and discharge, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Complications associated with procedural sedation and analgesia may occur due to a drug overdose or side effects, inadequate patient monitoring, physician's errors, and/or insufficient recovery. Although the most common complications are airway obstruction or respiratory depression, these may be prevented by careful patient monitoring and appropriate emergency response. Further progress in procedural sedation and analgesia will require research, an assessment of newer sedatives, and improvements in the reporting system for adverse events.


Child; Conscious sedation; Deep sedation; Complications
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