Hong Kong Journal of Paediatrics

Volume 7 Number 4, October 2002

Pilot Study in Evaluating the Side Effects of Chloral Hydrate Sedation in Children


Retrospective review was done on 282 children under chloral hydrate sedation for computerized tomography of brain or thorax, electroencephalogram, echocardiogram or brainstem auditory evoked potential studies. The study period was from 1 April, 1997 to 31 March, 1999. Standardized sedation protocol and checklist for pre-sedation assessment, monitoring and discharge assessment were used. The overall risk of prolonged sedation was 8.9%. No statistically significant difference in prolonged sedation could be shown among the different age groups or among the different dosage groups. There was no desaturation, vomiting or paradoxical excitation. Our study suggested the incidence of complications arising from sedation by chloral hydrate might be lower than reported when the maximum dosage of chloral hydrate was limited to 100 mg/kg or two gram in selected patients. A larger prospective study may be necessary to reassess the need for routine intensive monitoring in all children undergoing sedation by chloral hydrate alone. (HK J Paediatr (new series) 2002;7:214-219)

Key words : Chloral hydrate; Side effects

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