BACKGROUND: After alarming reports concerning deaths after sedation with propofol, infusion of this drug was contraindicated by the US Food and Drug Administration in children <18 yr receiving intensive care. We describe our experiences with propofol 6%, a new formula, during postoperative sedation in non-ventilated children following craniofacial surgery. METHODS: In a prospective cohort study, children admitted to the paediatric surgical intensive care unit following major craniofacial surgery were randomly allocated to sedation with propofol 6% or midazolam, if judged necessary on the basis of a COMFORT behaviour score. Exclusion criteria were respiratory infection, allergy for proteins, propofol or midazolam, hypertriglyceridaemia, familial hypercholesterolaemia or epilepsy. We assessed the safety of propofol 6% with triglycerides (TG) and creatine phosphokinase (CPK) levels, blood gases and physiological parameters. Efficacy was assessed using the COMFORT behaviour scale, Visual Analogue Scale and Bispectral Index monitor. RESULTS: Twenty-two children were treated with propofol 6%, 23 were treated with midazolam and 10 other children did not need sedation. The median age was 10 (IQR 3-17) months in all groups. Median duration of infusion was 11 (range 6-18) h for propofol 6% and 14 (range 5-17) h for midazolam. TG levels remained normal and no metabolic acidosis or adverse events were observed during propofol or midazolam infusion. Four patients had increased CPK levels. CONCLUSION: We did not encounter any problems using propofol 6% as a sedative in children with a median age of 10 (IQR 3-17) months, with dosages <4 mg kg(-1) h(-1) during a median period of 11 (range 6-18) h.

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British Journal of Anaesthesia
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Prins, S., Peeters, M., Houmes, R. J., van Dijk, M., Knibbe, C., Danhof, M., & Tibboel, D. (2005). Propofol 6% as sedative in children under 2 years of age following major craniofacial surgery. British Journal of Anaesthesia, 94(5), 630–635. doi:10.1093/bja/aei104