Smith, Joanna and Callaghan, Linda (2001) Development of clinical guidelines for the sedation of children. British journal of nursing, 10 (6). pp. 376-383. ISSN 0966-0461

Young children may be unwilling or unable to cooperate if they are required to remain motionless for a prolonged period of time. In the
hospitalized child, investigative procedures perceived as painful or threatening may need the administration of a sedative. Clinical guidelines, within a large teaching hospital NHS trust in the North of England, were implemented in an attempt to reduce the diversity of the practices of healthcare professionals caring for the child requiring sedation. The guidelines were formulated by a multidisciplinary team and, in conjunction with active dissemination strategies, resulted in a change in practice that included: (1) improved communication and cooperation between departments (2) implementation of starvation times before the administration of a sedative, and (3) the appropriate referrals to a senior paediatrician to seek advice if contraindications to sedation were identified. Audit was integral to the process, facilitating
the comparison of actual practice with the standards developed from the guidelines and ensuring a continuous monitoring programme.

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