Best Pediatric Sedation Technique Ever

In my short Pediatric Emergency Medicine career, I have successfully:

  • burrito-wrapped my fair share of pediatric laceration patients;
  • debrided 3rd degree burns with IM ketamine;
  • removed cockroaches from ears, and
  • sutured a sleeping child.

But never, ever in my career have I sutured a child without them screaming bloody murder. Until today, ladies and gents.

God bless you, Spongebob Distractionpants. For the low price of $1.99 (and your iPhone service plan, of course) you can download an episode from iTunes and totally distract a kid — without any respiratory depression or squirming!

It did absolutely nothing when I tried to distract the kid during the lidocaine injection, but once he was numb, I was suturing up his lip, dragging suture material along his face and waving suture instruments near his mouth and eyes without an ounce of fear — or even interest. He was totally, absolutely, completely fixated on my iPhone showing the SpongeBob episode. (And works faster and more reliably than PO versed.) Thank you, inherent distractability of the immature mind!

(The febrile 2 year-old tonight with otitis would have none of it, despite me going for a Yo Gabba Gabba episode, in case you’re wondering.)

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  1. #1 by LM - June 2nd, 2010 at 21:25

    Someone in the anesthesia world published a study looking at the perioperative anxiolytic effects of midazolam vs gameboy. Guess which came out on top?

  2. #2 by Sean - May 12th, 2011 at 17:20

    Great to hear Spongebob has another use for keeping children from driving their parents crazy.

    But, you really caught my attention with : “removed cockroaches from ears, and”

    Holy cow, you have actually removed a living cockroach from an ear? Is that common? How far in can they get?

    Newnan Painters

  3. #3 by Justin - May 29th, 2011 at 04:02

    Who new cartoons can greatly aid in medicine, huh? Spongebob has his work cut out for him. He is indeed a fun fellow (slightly annoying for adults).

    I have to second the motion Sean’s question, cockroaches actually get inside kids’ ears? That is one scary thought.

  4. #4 by Steph - July 23rd, 2011 at 09:56

    This sounds effective! How about showing them Dora? I find your idea simple but very beneficial.

  5. #5 by mike - June 3rd, 2020 at 20:21

    haha, some great reads here, nice to read something less depressing for a change!

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