Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Patients: Sedation, Monitoring, and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes

Jennifer J. Lee, Giselle D. Jaconia, Lena S. Sun, Katherine V. Biagas, Maryam Y. Naim, Sue R. Beers, C. David Mintz, Heidi A.B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The design and conduct of pediatric sedation studies in critically ill patients have historically been challenging due to the complexity of the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) environment and the difficulty of establishing equipoise. Clinical trials, for instance, represent 1 important means of advancing our knowledge in this field, but there is a paucity of such studies in the literature. Accounting for ground-level factors in planning for each trial phase (eg, enrollment, intervention, assessment, and follow-up) and the presence of broader system limitations is of key importance. In addition, there is a need for early planning, coordination, and obtaining buy-in from individual study sites and staff to ensure success, particularly for multicenter studies. This review synthesizes the current state of pediatric sedation research and the myriad of challenges in designing and conducting successful trials in this particular area. The review poses consideration for future research directions, including novel study designs, and discusses electroencephalography monitoring and neurodevelopmental outcomes of PICU survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023


  • child development
  • critical care outcomes
  • electroencephalography
  • hypnotics and sedatives
  • intensive care units
  • neuropsychological tests
  • pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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