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Pediatr Radiol. 2014 Aug;44(8):1020-5. doi: 10.1007/s00247-014-2942-z. Epub 2014 May 24.

Provision of deep procedural sedation by a pediatric sedation team at a freestanding imaging center.

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Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA.



Freestanding imaging centers are popular options for health care systems to offer services accessible to local communities. The provision of deep sedation at these centers could allow for flexibility in scheduling imaging for pediatric patients. Our Children's Sedation Services group, comprised of pediatric critical care medicine and pediatric emergency medicine physicians, has supplied such a service for 5 years. However, limited description of such off-site services exists. The site has resuscitation equipment and medications, yet limited staffing and no proximity to hospital support.


To describe the experience of a cohort of pediatric patients undergoing sedation at a freestanding imaging center.


A retrospective chart review of all sedations from January 2012 to December 2012. Study variables include general demographics, length of sedation, type of imaging, medications used, completion of imaging, adverse events based on those defined by the Pediatric Sedation Research Consortium database and need for transfer to a hospital for additional care.


Six hundred fifty-four consecutive sedations were analyzed. Most patients were low acuity American Society of Anesthesiologists physical class ≤ 2 (91.8%). Mean sedation time was 55 min (SD ± 24). The overwhelming majority of patients (95.7%) were sedated for MRI, 3.8% for CT and <1% (three patients) for both modalities. Propofol was used in 98% of cases. Overall, 267 events requiring intervention occurred in 164 patient encounters (25.1%). However, after adjustment for changes from expected physiological response to the sedative, the rate of events was 10.2%. Seventy-five (11.5%) patients had desaturation requiring supplemental oxygen, nasopharyngeal tube or oral airway placement, continuous positive airway pressure or brief bag valve mask ventilation. Eleven (1.7%) had apnea requiring continuous positive airway pressure or bag valve mask ventilation briefly. One patient had bradycardia that resolved with nasopharyngeal tube placement and continuous positive airway pressure. Fifteen (2.3%) patients had hypotension requiring adjustment of the sedation drip but no fluid bolus. Overall, there were six failed sedations (0.9%), defined by the inability to complete the imaging study. There were no serious adverse events. There were no episodes of cardiac arrest or need for intubation. No patient required transfer to a hospital.


Sedation provided at this freestanding imaging center resulted in no serious adverse events and few failed sedations. While this represents a limited cohort with sedations performed by predominately pediatric critical care medicine and pediatric emergency medicine physicians, these findings have implications for the design and potential scope of practice of outpatient pediatric sedation services to support community-based pediatric imaging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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