Anxiolysis for laceration repair in children: a survey of pediatric emergency providers in Canada
Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine
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Objectives: Intranasal dexmedetomidine is a potentially effective anxiolytic but its role in pediatric laceration repair is only emerging. Future trials and clinical adoption of intranasal dexmedetomidine depend on understanding pediatric emergency providers’ practice patterns surrounding anxiolysis and perceived barriers to intranasal dexmedetomidine for anxiolysis during suture repair in children. Our objectives were to characterize these parameters to inform future research and facilitate clinical adoption. Methods: We conducted an online survey of pediatric emergency physician members of Pediatric Emergency Research Canada from September to December 2020. Questions pertained to perceptions of anxiolysis for suture repair, with a focus on intranasal dexmedetomidine. The primary outcome was anxiolysis for suture repair. Data were reported using descriptive statistics. Results: The response rate was 155/225 (68.9%). During suture repair, 127/148 (86%) believed that > 25% of young children experience distress requiring physical restraint. 116/148 (78%) would provide anxiolysis, mainly intranasal benzodiazepines (100/148, 68%). Only 6/148 (4%) would provide intranasal dexmedetomidine but 95/148 (64%) would consider it if there was evidence of benefit. The most common perceived barriers to intranasal dexmedetomidine included inadequate personal experience (114/145, 79%) and lack of access (60/145, 41%). Conclusions: Most Canadian pediatric emergency providers believe that laceration repair in a young child is distressing. Despite questionable efficacy, most would provide intranasal benzodiazepines, but would consider intranasal dexmedetomidine if there was evidence of benefit.