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Comparison of intramuscular meperidine and promethazine with and without chlorpromazine: a randomized, prospective, double-blind trial.

Author(s): Terndrup TE, Dire DJ, Madden CM, Gavula D, Cantor RM

Affiliation(s): Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York Health Science Center, Syracuse.

Publication date & source: 1993-02, Ann Emerg Med., 22(2):206-11.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

STUDY OBJECTIVES: To compare the effectiveness of intramuscular meperidine (2 mg/kg) and promethazine (1 mg/kg) with chlorpromazine (MPC) or without chlorpromazine (MP) (1 mg/kg) for sedation of children undergoing emergency department procedures. DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind trial. SETTING: A community and university hospital ED. TYPE OF PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-seven hemodynamically and neurologically stable children less than 16 years old. INTERVENTIONS: IM sedation followed by intended procedure. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Children receiving either combination were not significantly different with regard to age, sex, weight, chronic illness, and indications. Procedures included laceration repair (46), fracture reduction (25), and others (16). Mean onset of action was similar (16 +/- 12 minutes), whereas the duration of action was significantly longer after MPC (63 +/- 57 minutes [mean +/- SD] compared with MP 29 +/- 36 minutes; P < .05, Student's t-test). Paradoxical hyperactivity occurred only after MP (three of 43 cases; P = NS, Fisher's exact test), whereas transient oxygen desaturation occurred only after MPC (one of 44 cases; P = NS). No other serious complications were observed. Three observers rated the effectiveness of sedation and analgesia on separate 10.2-cm visual-analog scales. Overall, MPC received significantly better ratings (7.4 +/- 2.1 cm) than MP (5.7 +/- 3.0 cm; P < .05, Mann-Whitney U test). Parents believed sedation worked well in 90% of cases. Their children had bad memories of the procedure in only 9% of cases. CONCLUSION: Elimination of chlorpromazine from the IM combination of meperidine and promethazine for pediatric sedation during ED procedures results in a significant reduction in efficacy.

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