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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2012, Article ID 820209, 5 pages
Research Article

Procedural Pediatric Sedation by Nurses: Available, Competent, and Safe

1Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, 3001, 12 Avenue Nord, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada J1H 5N4
2Department of Hemato-Oncology, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, QC, Canada H3H 2R9

Received 28 May 2011; Revised 2 February 2012; Accepted 2 February 2012

Academic Editor: Alberto Pappo

Copyright © 2012 Laetiscia Lavoie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sedation and/or analgesia are standard of care for pediatric patients during painful intervention or medical imaging requiring immobility. Physician availability is frequently insufficient to allow for all procedural sedation. A nurse-led sedation program was created at the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS) to address this problem. Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness and the safety of our program. Methods. A retrospective study of all the procedural sedations done over one year was performed. Complications were separated in four categories: (1) major complications (call for help; unexpected admission, aspiration, and code); (2) reportable sedation events (oxygen saturation <90%, bradycardia (more than 2 SD below normal for the age of the child), and hypotension (more than 2 SD below normal for the age of the child); (3) difficult sedation (agitation, inadequate sedation, and failure to perform the procedure), (4) minor complications. Results. 448 patients, 249 boys and 199 girls; received sedation for 555 procedures. Overall, 78% (432) of interventions were successfully accomplished: 0% of major complications, 8% of reportable sedation events; 5% of difficult sedation; 9% of minor complications. Conclusion. Our nurse-led sedation program compares favorably to other similar systems.