We designed this study to measure the effect of a small dose of IV fentanyl on the emergence characteristics of pediatric patients undergoing sevoflurane anesthesia without any surgical intervention. Thirty-two ASA physical status I or II pediatric outpatients receiving sevoflurane anesthesia for magnetic resonance imaging scans were enrolled and assigned in a random and double-blinded manner to receive either placebo (saline) or 1 micro g/kg IV fentanyl 10 min before discontinuation of their anesthetic. The primary outcome measure was the percentage of patients with emergence agitation. We also evaluated the duration of agitation and time to meet hospital discharge criteria. Patients who received fentanyl had a decreased incidence of agitation (12% versus 56%) when compared with placebo. There was no significant difference in time to meet hospital discharge criteria. We conclude that the addition of a small dose of fentanyl to inhaled sevoflurane anesthesia decreases the incidence of emergence agitation independent of pain control effects.
The addition of a small dose of fentanyl given to patients undergoing nonsurgical sevoflurane anesthesia resulted in a significant decrease in emergence agitation in a prospective, randomized, and controlled trial involving pediatric patients.
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