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Acta Paediatr. 2014 Feb;103(2):182-7. doi: 10.1111/apa.12472. Epub 2013 Dec 3.

Safety and efficacy of propofol administered by paediatricians during procedural sedation in children.

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Department of Paediatrics, Catholic University Medical School, Rome, Italy.



The aim of this study was to determine the safety and the efficacy of paediatrician-administered propofol in children undergoing different painful procedures.


We conducted a retrospective study over a 12-year period in three Italian hospitals. A specific training protocol was developed in each institution to train paediatricians administering propofol for painful procedures.


In this study, 36,516 procedural sedations were performed. Deep sedation was achieved in all patients. None of the children experienced severe side effects or prolonged hospitalisation. There were six calls to the emergency team (0.02%): three for prolonged laryngospasm, one for bleeding, one for intestinal perforation and one during lumbar puncture. Nineteen patients (0.05%) developed hypotension requiring saline solution administration, 128 children (0.4%) needed O2 ventilation by face mask, mainly during upper endoscopy, 78 (0.2%) patients experienced laryngospasm, and 15 (0.04%) had bronchospasm. There were no differences in the incidence of major complications among the three hospitals, while minor complications were higher in children undergoing gastroscopy.


This multicentre study demonstrates the safety and the efficacy of paediatrician-administered propofol for procedural sedation in children and highlights the importance of appropriate training for paediatricians to increase the safety of this procedure in children.


Children; Pain; Procedural sedation; Propofol

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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