July 1996

The Myth of Conscious Sedation

Author Affiliations

Baltimore, Md

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1996;150(7):665-667. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1996.02170320011001

IN THE past, even when their pain was obvious, children frequently received inadequate or no treatment for pain or painful procedures.1 The "common wisdom" that children neither respond to nor remember painful experiences to the same degree that adults do is simply untrue. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear that the failure to provide adequate analgesia to patients in pain increases morbidity, medical costs, and the duration and intensity of illness.2

Over the past 10 years, great progress has been made in the treatment of acute and chronic medical and surgical pain in children. The use of opioids and nonopioid analgesics, local anesthetics, and regional anesthetic techniques in the treatment of pain have become commonplace.1,3, 4 On the other hand, procedure-related pain, which is the pain inflicted on children during their medical or surgical treatment (eg, bone marrow aspiration, lumbar puncture, repair of minor surgical wounds, insertion

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