Children often need procedural sedation for painful procedures. There are few data on type of provider, site of sedation, and agents used for procedural sedation in hospitals across the nation. The objective was to determine procedural sedation practices for hospitalized children outside the PICU and emergency department.
Surveys were sent to 89 pediatric hospitalist (PH) leaders in hospitals belonging to the Child Health Corporation of America or the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions.
We received responses from 56 PHs (63%), of whom 49 (55%) completed the survey. PHs provided sedation in 18 hospitals. Provider, setting, and agents used for procedural sedation varied. The primary providers of procedural sedation for abscess incision and drainage, renal biopsy, joint aspiration, computed tomography, and MRI were anesthesiologists. A significantly greater percentage of hospitals where PHs did not provide procedural sedation used the operating room for abscess incision and drainage compared with hospitals where PHs provided procedural sedation (63% vs 28%, respectively). Postoperative/abscess dressing change, vesicocystourethrogram, and ≥1 painful procedure were performed without sedation in significantly greater percentage of hospitals where PHs did not provide procedural sedation compared with hospitals where PHs provided procedural sedation.
There is variability in sedation practices in hospitals across the nation, which affects patient care and use of resources such as the operating room. In hospitals where PHs provide procedural sedation, there is less operating room use and fewer painful procedures for which no sedation is provided.