The purpose of this study was to examine a university-based dental electronic health records (EHR) database to identify sedation-related adverse events (AEs) and assess patients' behavioral outcomes during routine pediatric dental sedations (PDSs) in a dental school clinic.
A database was screened for patients younger than 18 years old who had received dental sedation in 2019. The qualifying EHRs were then accessed and sedations were reviewed for AEs, which were categorized using a 12-point classification system and the Tracking and Reporting Outcomes of Procedural Sedation Tool. Patient behaviors were assessed using provider progress notes and categorized as presence/ absence of agitation.
A total of 690 sedations were reviewed, yielding 28 AEs. Emesis was the most common AE observed in 1.3 percent of sedations. Respiratory and cardiovascular AEs were observed in 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent of sedations, respectively. Agitation was identified in 47.5 percent of sedations, while 34.1 percent of agitations resulted in the documented suspension of dental treatment. Agitation was mainly observed for nitrous oxide and oral sedation resulting in one failed sedation out of five sedations for each method.
Potentially serious adverse effects were identified during pediatric dental sedations, but their incidence was low. A significant proportion of the sedated children experienced agitation, resulting in some sedation failures. Such events need to be tracked and examined for risk assessment reduction and quality-of-care improvement.