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Sedation of children in the emergency department for short painful procedures compared with theatre, how much does it save? Economic evaluation


Introduction Sedation of children for short painful procedures is increasingly performed in emergency departments as an alternative to hospital admission and theatre. In this study, the savings of this are sought to be quantified.

Methods A matched-cohort economic evaluation was conducted. Detailed case note reviews were performed on children who were sedated in the emergency department and children who were admitted to theatre. The costs of these were compared.

Results 17 children underwent sedation in our emergency department and were compared with 20 children admitted to theatre. Each emergency department sedation saved £614 (95% CI £441 to £787), and this result was statistically significant (p<0.0001).

Conclusion Emergency department sedation offers considerable savings, compared with theatre-based management for children who require short painful procedures.

  • Anaesthesia
  • cost effectiveness
  • paediatrics
  • paediatric emergency medicine
  • paediatric injury

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