Pharmacologic Considerations for Pediatric Sedation and Anesthesia Outside the Operating Room: A Review for Anesthesia and Non-Anesthesia Providers

Narjeet Khurmi, Perene Patel, Molly Kraus, Terrence Trentman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Understanding the pharmacologic options for pediatric sedation outside the operating room will allow practitioners to formulate an ideal anesthetic plan, allaying anxiety and achieving optimal immobilization while ensuring rapid and efficient recovery. The authors identified relevant medical literature by searching PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases for English language publications covering a period from 1984 to 2017. Search terms included pediatric anesthesia, pediatric sedation, non-operating room sedation, sedation safety, and pharmacology. As a narrative review of common sedation/anesthesia options, the authors elected to focus on studies, reviews, and case reports that show clinical relevance to modern day sedation/anesthesia practice. A variety of pharmacologic agents are available for sedation/anesthesia in pediatrics, including midazolam, fentanyl, ketamine, dexmedetomidine, etomidate, and propofol. Dosing ranges reported are a combination of what is discussed in the reviewed literature and text books along with personal recommendations based on our own practice. Several reports reveal that ketofol (a combination of ketamine and propofol) is quite popular for short, painful procedures. Fospropofol is a newer-generation propofol that may confer advantages over regular propofol. Remimazolam combines the pharmacologic effects of remifentanil and midazolam. A variety of etomidate derivatives such as methoxycarbonyl-etomidate, carboetomidate, methoxycarbonyl-carboetomidate, and cyclopropyl-methoxycarbonyl metomidate are in development stages. The use of nitrous oxide as a mild sedative, analgesic, and amnestic agent is gaining popularity, especially in the ambulatory setting. Utilizing a dedicated and experienced team to provide sedation enhances safety. Furthermore, limiting sedation plans to single-agent pharmacy appears to be safer than using multi-agent plans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)435-446
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Drugs
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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