Chloral hydrate for emergent pediatric procedural sedation: a new look at an old drug.


Chloral hydrate has been time honored for pediatric procedural sedation, but its efficacy in sedation for emergency department (ED) procedures is unreported. It is hypothesized that chloral hydrate is safe and effective for ED pediatric sedation. Ninety-five consecutive children ranging from 1-10 years and requiring procedural intervention in a municipal teaching hospital ED were included in a nonrandomized controlled trial. Patients with respiratory depression, somnolence, allergy, multisystem trauma, head injury, or abdominal pain were excluded. Forty-two subjects received chloral hydrate 25 to 50 mg/kg orally at physician discretion, and 53 subjects served as controls. Cooperation with procedural completion was rated by the treating physician using the four-point sedation scoring system modified from Moody et al (1 = poor, 4 = excellent). The two groups' sedation scores were compared by the Mann Whitney U test with significance at P less than .05. Age-related subgroups of children were similarly compared. The treatment group achieved sedation score of 2.86, whereas controls had sedation score of 2.75 (P = 0.63, beta error 20% at 0.37 score difference). Subgroup analysis of children less than 6 years old (2.95 experimental versus 2.57 control) and less than 4 years old (3.00 experimental versus 2.32 control) reveals statistically significant differences (P less than .0001 and P = .01, respectively) in favor of higher sedation scores in the chloral hydrate group. Time to sedation was 42.7 minutes, time to recovery was 42.0 minutes, and no adverse drug effects were noted.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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@article{Binder1991ChloralHF, title={Chloral hydrate for emergent pediatric procedural sedation: a new look at an old drug.}, author={Louis S Binder and Lewis A. Leake}, journal={The American journal of emergency medicine}, year={1991}, volume={9 6}, pages={530-4} }