Table 6.

Sedation Complications in the PSU

ComplicationNumber (%)*InterventionStudy Completed
Hypotension20 (4.4)Fluid push20
Hypoxemia12 (2.6)Positioning, increase Fio2102
Apnea7 (1.5)Intubation, positioning, bagging61
Airway obstruction6 (1.3)Positioning, suctioning33
Agitation3 (0.7)Multiple medications03
Seizure2 (0.4)Basic support11
Hiccups2 (0.4)Intubation11
Hypertension1 (0.2)Nifedipine10
Emesis1 (0.2)Admit overnight10
Totals54 (12)43 (9.4%)11 (2.4%)
  • * Percentage of total sedation episodes (N = 458).

    Hypotension indicates a decrease in blood pressure requiring intravascular fluid infusion ordered by the PSU physician; hypoxemia, a pulse oximetry reading <93% (in patients already receiving supplemental oxygen) or, for children with cyanotic congenital heart lesions, significantly lower than baseline; apnea, >10 seconds of no respiratory effort; airway obstruction, coughing, upper airway noise with respiratory distress; agitation, paradoxical agitation or movement after receiving sedation/analgesia; seizure, self-limited generalized tonic-clonic activity similar to known baseline seizures, not related to hypoxemia; hiccups, intractable hiccups after sedation producing head movement that prevented study completion; hypertension, blood pressure rise requiring treatment ordered by the PSU physician; emesis, emesis post sedation which prevented PO intake and necessitated admission to the hospital overnight.