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Dexmedetomidine Sedation: Uses in Pediatric Procedural Sedation Outside the Operating Room

McMorrow, Sheila P. MD, FACEP, FAAP*†; Abramo, Thomas J. MD, FAAP, FACEP*‡

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0b013e3182495e1b
CME Review Article

As the field of pediatric procedural sedation continues to expand, so does the exploration of medications that have a role in such invasive and noninvasive procedures. One such medication that has emerged during the last decade is dexmedetomidine, a drug approved for use in the adult intensive care setting. Its role in pediatrics has varied in its use from sedation in ventilated children in the intensive care unit to treatment for emergence reactions from general anesthesia and in sedation needed for radiographic imaging studies, electroencephalography, and invasive procedures. This review article presents the pediatric studies that have been published thus far regarding dexmedetomidate in the nonventilated, spontaneously breathing patient and identifies those patients where the use of this agent may not be indicated.

Assistant Professor (McMorrow), *Department of Anesthesiology; Assistant Professor (McMorrow), Professor (Abramo), †Department of Pediatrics; ‡Medical Director (Abramo), Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine; and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.

All authors and staff in a position to control the content of this CME activity and their spouses/life partners (if any) have disclosed that they have no financial relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial organizations pertaining to this educational activity.

Reprints: Sheila P. McMorrow, MD, FACEP, 2200 Children’s Way, 1017 VCH, Nashville, TN 37232 (e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.