Use of chloral hydrate as a sedative for auditory brainstem response testing in a pediatric population.Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol 2011; 75(6):760-3IJ
Chloral hydrate (CH) is an oral sedative widely used to sedate infants and young children during auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing. The aim of this study was to record effectiveness, complications and safety of CH as a sedative for ABR.
From January of 2003 until December of 2007, 1903 children were tested for ABR, 568 of them being under the age of 6 months. CH (8%) was used for sedation at a dose of 40 mg/kg with a repeat dose, if necessary, for an adequate sedation, in 20-30 min. We recorded the effectiveness of CH as a sedative for ABR examination, as well as all complications related to the use of CH such as vomiting, rash, hyperactivity, respiratory distress and apnea. The statistical method used was the absolute and percentage frequency distribution of the occurrences.
Sedation with CH was necessary to perform testing in 1591 (83.6%) of the examined children. However, in the population of the examined infants, only 341 (60%) were sedated with CH, because the remaining 227 (40%) fell asleep by themselves. Complications included hyperactivity in 152 children (8%), minor respiratory distress in 10 children (0.4%), vomiting in 217 children (11.4%), apnea in 4 children (0.2%) and rash in 10 children (0.4%). The complications of hyperactivity, vomiting and rash resolved without any medical treatment. The apnea cases were managed effectively by supplying ventilation to the children via a mask in the presence of an anesthesiologist.
The use of CH at a dose of 40 mg/kg up to 80 mg/kg is safe and effective when administered in a setting with adequate equipment and the presence of well trained personnel.