Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dexmedetomidine is a relatively new sedative medication that has been shown to offer a better J safety profile in terms of decreased incidence of respiratory depression and airway collapsibility over other agents. This is an ideal quality in a sedative medication for use in the pediatric population, as airway compromise during sedation is the leading complication resulting in morbidity and mortality within this population. Currently, it is only FDA approved for use in adults. However, over the past several years it has also been used as an off-label medication and studied for multiple indications within the pediatric population. Non-invasive procedural sedation is one of the areas where dexmedetomidine has shown clinical promise as an alternative to consent sedation Techniques. An extensive literature review utilizing medical databases provided through the online library of the University of North Dakota was performed to address the role and applicability of using dexmedetomidine in non-invasive, pediatric procedural sedation. Multiple studies have shown that dexmedetomidine is an efficacious alternative to currently used sedative agents in the pediatric population. Overall, there is less respiratory depression and need for airway support seen with the use of dexmedetomidine. However, other issues with its use for procedural sedation have come into question including its effects on the cardiovascular system and the lack of a clearly defined effective dose for the pediatric population. Implications for the future include cautious use only by experienced pediatric anesthesia providers and a push for further studies to outline the optimal dose of dexmedetomidine in pediatric populations. Dissemination of the filings from this review have the potential to provide anesthesia providers with information that will help them to make informed clinical decisions regarding administration of dexmedetomidine within the pediatric population.