Pediatric Drugs

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 147–153 | Cite as

Prevention and Therapy of Pediatric Emergence Delirium: A National Survey

  • Christopher Huett
  • Torsten Baehner
  • Felix Erdfelder
  • Claudia Hoehne
  • Christian Bode
  • Andreas Hoeft
  • Richard K. EllerkmannEmail author
Original Research Article



Although pediatric emergence delirium (ED) is common, preventive and therapeutic pharmacological treatment is the matter of an international controversial discussion and evidence on different options is partially vague.


We therefore examined clinical routine in prevention strategies and postoperative therapy of ED with respect to clinical experience in pediatric anesthesia.


A web-based survey was developed investigating routine management (prevention and treatment) of ED, facility structure, and patient population. The link was sent to all enlisted members of the German Society of Anesthesiology.


We analyzed 1229 questionnaires. Overall, 88% reported ED as a relevant clinical problem; however, only 5% applied assessment scores to define ED. Oral midazolam was reported as standard premedication by 84% of respondents, the second largest group was ‘no premedication’ (5%). The first choice prevention strategy was to perform total intravenous (propofol) anesthesia (63%). The first choice therapeutic pharmacological treatment depended on clinical experience. Therapeutic propofol was preferentially chosen by more experienced anesthesiologists (5 to >20 patients per week, n = 538), while lesser experienced colleagues (<5 patients per week, n = 676) preferentially applied opioids. Dexmedetomidine (1%) and non-pharmacological (2%) therapy were rarely stated. The highest satisfaction levels for pharmacological therapy of ED were attributed to propofol.


Propofol is the preferred choice for pharmacological prevention and treatment of ED among German anesthesiologists. Further therapy options as well as alternatives to a midazolam-centered premedication procedure are underrepresented.


Midazolam Clonidine Sevoflurane Dexmedetomidine Postoperative Delirium 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank all members of the DGAI and BDA who participated in this survey, Victoria Lehmann for establishing the survey within ‘’, and Mr Sorgatz for forwarding the emails in the name of the DGAI.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors CH, TB, FE, CHo, CB, AH, RKE declare that they have no conflict of interest.


No funding was received for the survey or the manuscript.

Supplementary material

40272_2017_212_MOESM1_ESM.docx (24 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Huett
    • 1
  • Torsten Baehner
    • 1
  • Felix Erdfelder
    • 1
  • Claudia Hoehne
    • 2
  • Christian Bode
    • 1
  • Andreas Hoeft
    • 1
  • Richard K. Ellerkmann
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive CareBonn University HospitalBonnGermany
  2. 2.Department of Anesthesiology and Intensive CareLeipzig University HospitalLeipzigGermany

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