Purpose of review: To review and summarize current literature regarding sedation for imaging studies in pediatric patients in the Emergency Department and acute care setting.
Recent findings: Multiple guidelines about preparation, monitoring, and appropriate training of personnel administering pediatric sedation have been published. Recommendations for fasting prior to sedation remain in flux. Agents such as chloral hydrate, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines that have been used for pediatric sedation for many years continue to be studied. These agents are compared with newer agents such as etomidate, propofol, and dexmedetomidine.
Summary: Although avoiding sedation for diagnostic imaging studies is optimal, there are multiple agents with reasonable safety profiles that can be utilized by personnel trained in pediatric airway management in order to obtain adequate emergent imaging studies.