A child undergoing a procedure in the Emergency Department may need to be sedated. Steurer and Luhmann listed adverse effects that may develop following discharge. The authors are from St. Louis Children's Hospital and Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.



(1) almost half of children may have one or more side effects related to the sedative used in the 24 hours following discharge from the ED

(2) parents or guardians should be informed of the risk and instructed to observe the children more closely

(3) some side effects may impact play and other activities, and so the child should take things easy


Side effects include:

(1) nausea

(2) vomiting

(3) ataxia or imbalance

(4) dizziness

(5) nightmares or sleep disturbance

(6) hallucinations

(7) lethargy

(8) headache and/or earache


Differential diagnosis:

(1) other illness

(2) adverse effect from other medications

(3) post-traumatic stress disorder


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