Impact of Dexmedetomidine on Pediatric Agitation in the Postanesthesia Care Unit

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Abstract

Purpose:

This study aims to investigate the impacts of dexmedetomidine (DEX) on agitation in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) for pediatric patients undergoing tonsillectomy.

Design:

Eighty-two pediatric patients with elective tonsillectomy were randomly divided into the DEX group (group D) and the control group (group C). All patients' surgery in the two study groups were completed under tracheal cannula-based general anesthesia. Group D was infused 0.2 mcg/kg/hour DEX. The operation time, extubation time, PACU time, number of cases with nausea and vomiting, hemodynamic changes, and doses of rescue fentanyl, as well as every 10-minute observational pain scoring, and emergence agitation score in PACU, of the two groups were recorded.

Methods:

Chi-square and Fischer exact tests were applied for categorical variables.

Findings:

The maximum observational pain scoring and emergence agitation score of group D at 0, 10, and 20 minutes in PACU were significantly lower than group C (P < .01); the rescue doses of fentanyl and incidence of severe agitation in PACU in group D were significantly reduced than group C (P < .01). Group D showed significantly less cases with nausea and vomiting than group C (P < .05).

Conclusions:

Low-dose DEX could significantly reduce the delirium and agitation in the PACU stage of pediatric tonsillectomy, and there were no untoward hemodynamic events in this study of 80 patients.

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