Published in Anaesthesist. 2015 May;64(5):373-80
Authors: Lehmann V et al
The origin of emergence agitation in children remains unclear; however, an association between surgical procedure, patient age and anesthetic regimen and the incidence of postoperative agitation has been described in the literature.
The aim of this survey performed between February and April 2014 was to collect data from the daily clinical practice by experienced pediatric anesthesiologists regarding documentation, premedication, anesthesia regimen and postoperative treatment with respect to children with emergence agitation.
MATERIAL AND METHODS:
An online questionnaire with 33 items was developed and sent to all 525 members of the scientific committee of pediatric anesthesia (WAKKA) of the German Society of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care (DGAI). Members were asked to respond within a time period of 1 month but no reminders were sent out via email or telephone.
A total of 156 members participated in the survey and of these 143 questionnaires were fully completed and included in the final evaluation (27 %). Of the participants 77 % had more than 6 years professional experience in the field of pediatric anesthesia and for 87 % emergence agitation remains a relevant clinical problem. The estimated incidence of emergence agitation was given as 1-10 % and as high as 11-20 % by 56% and 20 % of the participants, respectively. The incidence of postoperative agitation is documented by only 11 % of the participants with a validated score, such as the pediatric anesthesia emergence delirium (PEAD) scale and 89 % of the participants use midazolam for premedication. As a preemptive intervention total intravenous anesthesia is performed by 56 % whereas clonidine is used as first line prevention by 30 %. Postoperative pharmacological treatment is performed by a bolus administration of propofol (56 %) and clonidine (26 %). Postoperative parental presence was considered beneficial by 82 %.
Emergence agitation is still seen as a relevant clinical problem by experienced pediatric anesthesiologists. Propofol is first choice when it comes to pharmacological prevention and treatment of emergence agitation. Postoperative parental presence was considered beneficial by the majority of anesthesiologists.