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      Opioid-Sparing Anesthetic Technique for Pediatric Patients Undergoing Adenoidectomy: A Pilot Study

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          An opioid-sparing anesthetic involves a multi-modal technique with non-opioid medications targeting different analgesic pathways. Such techniques may decrease adverse effects related to opioids. These techniques may be considered in patients at higher risk for opioid-related adverse effects including obstructive sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing.


          A prospective, pilot study was performed in 10 patients (3–8 years of age), presenting for adenoidectomy. The perioperative regimen included oral dextromethorphan (1 mg/kg) and acetaminophen (15 mg/kg) plus single boluses of intraoperative dexmedetomidine (0.5 μg/kg) and ketamine (0.5 mg/kg). Pain scores were assessed in the post anesthesia care unit (PACU) using the FLACC (Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability) scale. Patients with a pain score >4 received fentanyl as needed. PACU time, pain scores, and parent satisfaction were recorded. Postoperatively, patients were instructed to use oral acetaminophen or ibuprofen every 6 hours as needed for pain.


          The study cohort included 10 patients, 3–8 years of age. All patients had opioid-free anesthetic care. PACU time ranged from 24 to 102 minutes (median: 56 minutes). FLACC pain scores were 0 for all PACU assessments. Nine patients were discharged home and 1 patient had a planned overnight admission. Following hospital discharge, the pain scores were satisfactory during the 72-hour study period and 90% of the patients’ guardians were satisfied or highly satisfied with their child’s pain control.


          This opioid-sparing approach provided safe and effective pain control as well as parental satisfaction following adenoidectomy in children. Additional prospective studies are needed to determine whether this regimen is effective in a larger cohort of patients with and for other otolaryngology procedures.

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          Most cited references 44

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          The FLACC: a behavioral scale for scoring postoperative pain in young children.

          To evaluate the reliability and validity of the FLACC Pain Assessment Tool which incorporates five categories of pain behaviors: facial expression; leg movement; activity; cry; and consolability. Eighty-nine children aged 2 months to 7 years, (3.0 +/- 2.0 yrs.) who had undergone a variety of surgical procedures, were observed in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU). The study consisted of: 1) measuring interrater reliability; 2) testing validity by measuring changes in FLACC scores in response to administration of analgesics; and 3) comparing FLACC scores to other pain ratings. The FLACC tool was found to have high interrater reliability. Preliminary evidence of validity was provided by the significant decrease in FLACC scores related to administration of analgesics. Validity was also supported by the correlation with scores assigned by the Objective Pain Scale (OPS) and nurses' global ratings of pain. The FLACC provides a simple framework for quantifying pain behaviors in children who may not be able to verbalize the presence or severity of pain. Our preliminary data indicates the FLACC pain assessment tool is valid and reliable.
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            Development and psychometric evaluation of the pediatric anesthesia emergence delirium scale.

            Emergence delirium has been investigated in several clinical trials. However, no reliable and valid rating scale exists to measure this phenomenon in children. Therefore, the authors developed and evaluated the Pediatric Anesthesia Emergence Delirium (PAED) scale to measure emergence delirium in children. A list of scale items that were statements describing the emergence behavior of children was compiled, and the items were evaluated for content validity and statistical significance. Items that satisfied these evaluations comprised the PAED scale. Each item was scored from 1 to 4 (with reverse scoring where applicable), and the scores were summed to obtain a total scale score. The degree of emergence delirium varied directly with the total score. Fifty children were enrolled to determine the reliability and validity of the PAED scale. Scale validity was evaluated using five hypotheses: The PAED scale scores correlated negatively with age and time to awakening and positively with clinical judgment scores and Post Hospital Behavior Questionnaire scores, and were greater after sevoflurane than after halothane. The sensitivity of the scale was also determined. Five of 27 items that satisfied the content validity and statistical analysis became the PAED scale: (1) The child makes eye contact with the caregiver, (2) the child's actions are purposeful, (3) the child is aware of his/her surroundings, (4) the child is restless, and (5) the child is inconsolable. The internal consistency of the PAED scale was 0.89, and the reliability was 0.84 (95% confidence interval, 0.76-0.90). Three hypotheses supported the validity of the scale: The scores correlated negatively with age (r = -0.31, P <0.04) and time to awakening (r = -0.5, P <0.001) and were greater after sevoflurane anesthesia than halothane (P <0.008). The sensitivity was 0.64. These results support the reliability and validity of the PAED scale.
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              Pain in children: comparison of assessment scales.


                Author and article information

                J Pain Res
                J Pain Res
                Journal of Pain Research
                19 November 2020
                : 13
                : 2997-3004
                [1 ]Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University College of Medicine , Columbus, OH, USA
                [2 ]Department of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Ohio State University , Columbus, OH, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Arlyne K Thung Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine, Nationwide Children’s Hospital , 700 Children’s Drive, Columbus, OH43205, USATel +1 614 722-4200Fax +1 614 722-4203 Email Arlyne.Thung@Nationwidechildrens.org
                © 2020 Alghamdi et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 15, References: 44, Pages: 8
                Original Research

                Anesthesiology & Pain management

                adenoidectomy, opioid, pediatric, analgesia, sparing


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