Emergence Delirium in Children: Review and Rationale for the Use of Dexmedetomidine for Prevention

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Pediatric emergence delirium is a problematic condition affecting children emerging from general anesthesia. Young children specifically have an increased probability of developing this condition; risk factors such as gender, surgical procedure, pain, and/or anesthetic technique pose an increased susceptibility to emergence delirium. Dexmedetomidine, an alpha-2 agonist, has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of pediatric emergence delirium in a variety of administrative methods. This article presents a review of emergence delirium and rationale for its prevention with dexmedetomidine. There are presently many pharmacological methods of treating and avoiding emergence delirium. However, dexmedetomidine has been shown to be a safe and effective choice above the current pharmacological alternatives in the pediatric population.

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