What is the focus of the physical exam prior to administering pediatric sedation?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Wan-Tsu Wendy Chang, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
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Elements of the physical examination are as follows:

  • Age

  • Weight

  • Vital signs

  • Airway examination (head, ears, eyes, nose, and throat [HEENT] and pulmonary examination)

  • Cardiovascular examination

  • Neurologic/mental status

  • Size and location of injury and neurologic status distal to it

The physical examination focuses on the airway, especially for anatomic variations. The use of the Mallampati classification for assessment helps identify patients in whom airway management is likely to prove difficult (see the image below).

Mallampati classification. Mallampati classification.

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