Conscious Sedation of Pediatric Patients with Combination Oral Benzodiazepines and Inhaled Nitrous Oxide

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Background.Pediatric patients undergoing surgical procedures may experience considerable anxiety. Use of conscious sedation may be helpful in managing mild to moderate anxiety.Objective.To assess the effectiveness of combination oral benzodiazepines and inhaled nitrous oxide conscious sedation in pediatric surgical patients.Methods.Eleven episodes of conscious sedation in eight pediatric patients were prospectively monitored, with recording of indications, patient characteristics, clinical scenarios, surgical procedure, sedative regimen, quality of sedation, and complications. Extensive training in conscious sedation had been obtained, and emergency preparedness was at a high level.Results.Combination oral benzodiazepines and inhaled nitrous oxide produced good to excellent results in all patients but one. Complications were uncommon and mild. No emergency intervention was necessary.Conclusion.Monitored use of a combination of oral benzodiazepine and low to moderate concentrations of inhaled nitrous oxide can provide safe and effective conscious sedation in pediatric patients. Training in conscious sedation and emergency preparedness are essential.

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