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The Safety of Sedation for Overweight/Obese Children in the Dental Setting

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Purpose: The goal of this study was to examine childhood overweight/obesity as a risk factor for adverse events during sedation for dental procedures. Methods: This was a cross-sectional, retrospective, IRB-approved study that included 17 years of data (1992-2009). The outcome variables were desaturation, nausea/vomiting, prolonged sedation, and true apnea. The major explanatory variables were weight percentiles and BMI percentiles. Results: A total of 510 patients met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 431 (86%) experienced no adverse events, 73 (14%) experienced one or more adverse events, and 6 had missing data. BMI data were available for a nested cohort of 103 children. Patients who experienced one or more adverse events had higher mean weights and BMI percentiles, though differences were not statistically significant. Another way to conceptualize the BMI data is to consider that 12% of the normal weight children experienced one or more adverse events versus 18% of the overweight/obese. Conclusions: Overall, weight percentiles were higher in children who had one or more adverse events. Similarly, patients with higher BMI percentiles were more likely to experience adverse events. Although preliminary in nature, these findings suggest that childhood overweight/obesity may be associated with adverse events during sedation for dental procedures.
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Keywords: ADVERSE EVENTS; CONSCIOUS SEDATION; MODERATE SEDATION; OBESE; OVERWEIGHT

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA 2: Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA. [email protected] 3: Departments of Pediatric Dentistry and Health Policy and Management, School of Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA 4: Departments of Anesthesia and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, N.C., USA

Publication date: September 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Pediatric Dentistry is the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. It is published bi-monthly and is internationally recognized as the leading journal in the area of pediatric dentistry. The journal promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. This peer-reviewed journal features scientific articles, case reports and abstracts of current pediatric dental research.
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