Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Brazilian Journal of Anesthesiology
Clinical Research

Emergence delirium in children: a Brazilian survey

Vinícius Caldeira Quintão, Charlize Kessinde Oliveira Sales, Estefania Morales Herrera, Richard K. Ellerkmann, H. David Rosen, Maria José Carvalho Carmona

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Pediatric emergence delirium is characterized by a disturbance of a child’s awareness during the early postoperative period that manifests as disorientation, altered attention and perception. The incidence of emergence delirium varies between 18% and 80% depending on risk factors and how it is measured. Reports from Canada, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, and France demonstrated a wide range of preventive measures and definitions, indicating that there is a lack of clarity regarding emergence delirium. We aimed to assess the practices and beliefs among Brazilian anesthesiologists regarding emergence delirium.

A web-based survey was developed using REDCap®. A link and QR Code were sent by email to all Brazilian anesthesiologists associated with the Brazilian Society of Anesthesiology (SBA).

We collected 671 completed questionnaires. The majority of respondents (97%) considered emergence delirium a relevant adverse event. Thirty-two percent of respondents reported routinely administrating medication to prevent emergence delirium, with clonidine (16%) and propofol (15%) being the most commonly prescribed medications. More than 70% of respondents reported a high level of patient and parent anxiety, a previous history of emergence delirium, and untreated pain as risk factors for emergence delirium. Regarding treatment, thirty-five percent of respondents reported using propofol, followed by midazolam (26%).

Although most respondents considered emergence delirium a relevant adverse event, only one-third of them routinely applied preventive measures. Clonidine and propofol were the first choices for pharmacological prevention. For treatment, propofol and midazolam were the most commonly prescribed medications.


Emergence delirium,  Child,  Anesthesia,  Survey


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