To determine if there are differences in the duration of sedation
between pediatric emergency department (PED) patients receiving methohexital
and PED patients receiving pentobarbital
for the purpose of obtaining a head computed tomographic (CT
Retrospective cohort study of PED patients receiving either methohexital
for a sedated head CT
. Data were collected on patient demographics and medical condition, indications for head CT
, duration of sedation
, medication dosage, and medication adverse events. Primary analyses investigated whether there were differences between the 2 groups. Secondary analysis determined whether the need for additional sedative doses contributed to observed differences between groups.
The patients receiving methohexital
completed their head CT
more quickly and needed less total sedation
monitoring than those receiving pentobarbital
. The need for additional doses of medication does not appear to be responsible for the observed difference. Adverse medication events were minor and comparable between groups.
may be superior to pentobarbital
for the purpose of sedating PED patients for head CT