Sedating children safely and effectively for minor laceration repair is a well-recognized clinical problem. A randomized, double-blind, and controlled study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of intranasal midazolam for reducing stress during the suturing of lacerations in preschool children. Fifty-nine children with simple lacerations that required suturing were randomly assigned to one of three groups. Group 1 received intranasal midazolam, 0.4 mg/kg, prior to suturing. Group 2 received an equivalent volume of normal saline intranasally prior to suturing as a placebo. Group 3 was the control group and received no intervention prior to suturing. Heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and pulse oximetry were monitored at 5-minute intervals throughout the procedure. Subjective variables were also measured at 5-minute intervals and included a cry score, a motion score, and a struggle score. Parent satisfaction was measured via a short telephone interview the following day. There were no significant differences in outcome between the placebo group and the control group. Their results were pooled and compared with the results for the midazolam group. The midazolam group showed significant reductions for mean heart rate, maximum heart rate, and maximum systolic blood pressure when compared with the placebo/control group. Scores for two of the three subjective variables, cry and struggle, were significantly reduced for the midazolam group. The papoose board was considered unnecessary in retrospect for more than half of patients in the midazolam group compared with only one fifth of patients in the placebo/control group. Telephone follow-up revealed that parents in the midazolam group were twice as likely (68% vs 33%) to find the suture experience in the emergency department better than they had expected. No respiratory depression or any other significant adverse effects were noted in any of the three groups. It is concluded that infranasal midazolam was effective and safe in reducing anxiety and stress, which commonly accompany the suturing of lacerations in healthy preschool children.
- Received August 31, 1992.
- Accepted October 13, 1992.
- Copyright © 1993 by the American Academy of Pediatrics