What is included in the postprocedural care following pediatric sedation?

Updated: May 08, 2018
  • Author: Wan-Tsu Wendy Chang, MD; Chief Editor: Ted Rosenkrantz, MD  more...
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After the completion of the procedure, it is important to keep recording vital signs until the patient responds appropriately to a voice or gentle stimulation. Sedation is stimulus-dependent; accordingly, when the procedure is completed, the child is likely to become more sedated than he or she was during the procedure. This can lead to hypoventilation and hypoxia if the child is not closely monitored.

In general, discharge criteria should include the following:

  • The child’s vital signs should be within 15% of admission readings (either above or below)

  • The child should be ambulatory as appropriate for his or her age, without assistance

  • The child should be able to ingest and retain oral fluids

Some agents are associated with specific aftercare needs. For example, ketamine may cause ataxia for 12-24 hours, and the child’s activities should be restricted during this period to prevent further injury.

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