Author(s): Weldon BC, Bell M, Craddock T, Weldon BC, Bell M, Craddock T
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Abstract Sevoflurane anesthesia in young children has been associated with an increased incidence of emergence agitation compared with halothane. Postoperative pain may be an etiologic factor. We designed a study to compare the incidence of emergence agitation after halothane and sevoflurane anesthesia in children whose pain was managed with caudal analgesia. Eighty children undergoing inguinal hernia repair between the ages of 12 mo and 6 yr were randomly assigned to receive either halothane or sevoflurane anesthesia. Baseline preoperative anxiety was assessed with the Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale. The children were sedated with oral midazolam, underwent a mask induction, and had a caudal block placed for postoperative analgesia. After surgery, the children's behavior was assessed with a four-point agitation scale. At 5 min after arrival in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU), sevoflurane was associated with a greater incidence of emergence agitation than halothane (26\% vs 6\%; P < 0.05), but not during the remainder of the PACU stay. Higher levels of preoperative anxiety were associated with difficult mask induction, agitation on admission to the PACU, and more severe agitation episodes. Emergence agitation appears to be an early and transient phenomenon after sevoflurane anesthesia in children with effective postoperative analgesia. IMPLICATIONS: Effective postoperative analgesia may reduce the incidence of emergence agitation reported with sevoflurane anesthesia. The Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale appears to be helpful in identifying young children who are at risk for developing emergence agitation.
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This article was published in Anesth Analg
and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research