Evaluation of methohexital as an alternative to propofol in a high volume outpatient pediatric sedation service

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Abstract

Background

Propofol is a preferred agent for many pediatric sedation providers because of its rapid onset and short duration of action. It allows for quick turn around times and enhanced throughput. Occasionally, intravenous (IV) methohexital (MHX), an ultra-short acting barbiturate is utilized instead of propofol.

Objective

Describe the experience with MHX in a primarily propofol driven outpatient sedation program and to see if it serves as an acceptable alternative when propofol is not the preferred pharmacologic option.

Methods

Retrospective chart review from 2012 to 2015 of patients receiving IV MHX as their primary sedation agent. Data collected included demographics, reason for methohexital use, dosing, type of procedure, success rate, adverse events (AE), duration of the procedure, and time to discharge.

Results

Methohexital was used in 240 patient encounters. Median age was 4 years (IQR 2–7), 71.8% were male, and 80.4% were ASA-PS I or II. Indications for MHX use: egg + soy/peanut allergy in 93 (38.8%) and mitochondrial disorder 9 (3.8%). Median induction bolus was 2.1 mg/kg (IQR, 1.9–2.8), median maintenance infusion was 4.5 mg/kg/h (IQR, 3.0–6.0). Hiccups 15 (6.3%), secretions requiring intervention 14 (5.8%), and cough 12 (5.0%) were the most commonly occurring minor AEs. Airway obstruction was seen in 28 (11.6%). Overall success rate was 94%. Median time to discharge after procedure completion was 40.5 min (IQR 28–57).

Conclusion

Methohexital can be used with a high success rate and AEs that are not inconsistent with propofol administration. Methohexital should be considered when propofol is not a preferred option.

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