Background: There is a lack of studies evaluating procedural sedation for insertion of central venous catheters (CVC) in pediatric patients in emergency departments or pediatric intensive care units (PICU). This study was designed to evaluate whether there is a difference in the total sedation time for CVC insertion in nonintubated children receiving two sedation regimens.
Methods: Patients were prospectively randomized to receive either midazolam/fentanyl (M/F) or midazolam/ketamine (M/K) i.v. The Children's Hospital of Wiscosin Sedation Scale was used to score the sedation level.
Results: Fifty seven patients were studied (28 M/F and 29 M/K). Group M/F received midazolam (0.24 ± 0.11 mg·kg−1) and fentanyl (1.68 ± 0.83 μg·kg−1) and group M/K received midazolam (0.26 ± 0.09 mg·kg−1) and ketamine (1.40 ± 0.72 mg·kg−1). The groups were similar in age, weight, risk classification time and sedation level. Median total sedation times for M/F and M/K were 97 vs 105 min, respectively (P = 0.67). Minor complications occurred in 3.5% (M/F) vs 20.7% (M/K) (P = 0.03). M/F promoted a greater reduction in respiratory rate (P = 0.005).
Conclusions: In this study of nonventilated children in PICU undergoing central line placement, M/F and M/K provided a clinically comparable total sedation time. However, the M/K sedation regimen was associated with a higher rate of minor complications. A longer period of study is required to assess the efficacy and safety of these sedative agents for PICU procedures in nonintubated children.