Study of paediatric postoperative delirium and acute pain in low surgical risk procedures

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Abstract

Introduction:

Postoperative delirium is not only an outcome of unknown precise incidence in pediatrics but also a controversial field for pediatric anesthesiology.

Objective:

To estimate the incidence of postoperative pediatric delirium in low surgical risk procedures and to analyze risk factors (such as acute postoperative pain).

Materials and methodology:

Prospective analytical observational study of incident cohort that included patients between 2 and 10 years of age, American Society of Anesthesiology I to II, undergoing low-risk surgery. Sample size: probable incidence 33%, accuracy 5%, confidence 95%, n = 340 patients. Sequential sample selection was done after admission to the operating room. Concurrent and longitudinal follow-up was carried out.

Results:

Incidence of delirium was 13.2%. A strong relationship was found between the presence of severe acute postoperative pain and delirium. Dexamethasone was a risk factor. A high association was found between remifentanil and severe acute postoperative pain.

Conclusions:

A low incidence of delirium was found as compared with other reports in the world literature. The diagnostic strength of the scales used is controversial because of the similarities between measurement parameters. Scientific evidence that challenges the use of dexamethasone as a triggering factor is offered. A direct association between pain and delirium is found, and it is even argued that the use of remifentanil could favor the presence of severe acute postoperative pain (hyperalgesia).

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