Background

Preventing emergence delirium is a clinical goal for pediatric anesthesia, yet there is no consensus on its prevention. This study investigated the hypothesis that a continuous infusion or a single bolus of remimazolam can reduce the incidence of emergence delirium in children.

Methods

A hundred and twenty children aged 1-6 years old were randomly and equally allocated into three groups: group RC, which received a continuous infusion of remimazolam at 1 mg kg -1 h -1; group RB, which received a single bolus of remimazolam at 0.2 mg kg -1 at the beginning of wound closure; and group C, which received a continuous infusion of saline at 1 mL kg -1 h -1 and single bolus of saline at 0.2 mL kg -1 at the beginning of sutures. The primary outcome was the incidence of emergence delirium assessed by pediatric anesthesia emergence delirium (PAED) scale. Secondary outcomes included the number of rescues propofol administrations in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU), recovery time, end-tidal sevoflurane concentration when maintaining BIS within the range of 40-60, and adverse events.

Results

The incidence of emergence delirium in group RC (5%, vs. group C, risk ratio, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.59; P=0.001) and group RB (7.7%, vs. group C, risk ratio, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.07 to 0.71; P=0.003) was significantly lower compared with group C (32.5%). Propofol was given to 2 patients in each of groups RC and RB to treat delirium and to 10 patients in group C (group RC vs. group C, risk ratio, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.05 to 0.86; P=0.012; group RB vs. group C, risk ratio, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.05 to 0.88; P=0.014). No differences in the recovery time and adverse effects were detected.

Conclusions

Both continuous infusion and single bolus administration of remimazolam can effectively reduce the occurrence of emergence delirium in children.

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Competing Interests

Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.

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