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Sedation and Analgesia in Critically Ill Children

Author(s): Peter N. Johnson, PharmD, BCPS, Jamie L. Miller, PharmD, BCPS, Tracy M. Hagemann, PharmD, FCCP, FPPAG

Contact Hours: 1.00

CERP A: 1.00

Pharmacology Hours: 1.00

Expires Dec 01, 2016

Topics: PainManagement, Pharmacology

Population: Pediatric

Role: APRN

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

The interplay of pain, discomfort, and fear can cause agitation in critically ill children. Therefore, sedation and analgesia are essential components in the intensive care unit setting and are best managed with a multidisciplinary team approach. No one standard approach exists to assess and manage pain and anxiety. Many tools are available for the assessment of pain and sedation, but each tool has its advantages and disadvantages. Clinicians should consider adopting a validated tool for routine continuous assessment. Multiple pharmacological therapies are available to manage pain, anxiety, fear, and agitation. Dosing of these agents can be influenced by age-related pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic changes. Agents should be selected on the basis of the child’s disease state, desired level of sedation, and cardiac and respiratory status.


  • List physiologic factors contributing to holistic multimodal management of pediatric sedation and analgesia (eg, age, weight, cardiac status, renal status, respiratory status, etc).
  • Describe pharmacologic factors associated with various agents used in pediatric sedation and analgesia (eg, time of onset, duration, receptor target(s), etc).
  • Describe scoring tools used in the assessment of sedation, analgesia, and withdrawal.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


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