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General anaesthesia or sedation for paediatric neuroimaging: current practice in a teaching hospital
  1. H M Sammons1,
  2. J Edwards2,
  3. R Rushby2,
  4. C Picton2,
  5. J Collier3,
  6. W P Whitehouse4
  1. 1Academic Division of Child Health, The Medical School, Derbyshire Children's Hospital, Derby, UK
  2. 2University Hospital Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  3. 3Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Nursing, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  4. 4University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr W P Whitehouse, Department of Paediatric Neurology, Division of Human Development, University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; william.whitehouse{at}

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Younger children or those with learning difficulties are generally unable to lie still for neuroimaging. There is controversy over whether anaesthesia or sedation should be used.1 2 We describe our experience of both sedation and anaesthesia for neuroimaging between 2000 and 2004. The sedation is detailed in table 1.

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Table 1

Sedation protocol for scans

A total of 297 children (median age 2 years, interquartile range (IQR) 1 year to 4 years 5 months) underwent oral sedation for neuroimaging. Twenty-eight per cent of the children had neuro-developmental disabilities. Chloral hydrate was the first drug in 64%, quinalbarbitone in 35%, paraldehyde in 0.5% and …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.