The safety and efficacy of a nurse-led sedation service using Chloral Hydrate for auditory brainstem response testing

Yael Alfandary Many, Haim Berkenstadt, Yael Henkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: There is a growing number of pediatric procedures requiring sedation outside the operating room. Among these are auditory brainstem response (ABR) tests, the gold standard for objective hearing evaluation in infants and toddlers. Recently, a nurse-led pediatric sedation service based on a structured protocol has been developed for ABR testing. Objectives: To retrospectively analyze the safety and efficacy of the pediatric nurse-led sedation protocol (PNLSP) in a tertiary medical center using Chloral Hydrate (CH) in children undergoing ABR testing. Methods: Data from medical charts of children who underwent sedation for ABR testing between January 2014 and December 2017, were retrieved. Analysis of sedation success/failure rates, sleep induction time (SIT), sleep duration time (SDT), and adverse events (AE), was performed. Findings: 1348 children with a mean age of 13.4 months (range 3–42 months), classified by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Physical Status Classification System (ASA score) 1–3, were included in the analysis. All children received a fixed dose of 75 mg / kg CH orally or rectally. Sedation success rate was 98.7% and enabled completion of ABR testing. Failure to sedate was evident in 17 children (1.3%), all classified as ASA score 1–2. Median SIT and SDT were 25 and 100 min, respectively. Mild AE occurred in 9 children (0.67%), none of which required further intervention. Conclusions: Findings support the use of a structured PNLSP using CH as safe and efficient. The suggested protocol is an effective alternative for general anesthesia (GA) for ABR testing in healthy young children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e143-e148
JournalJournal of Pediatric Nursing
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Auditory brain stem response (ABR) testing
  • Chloral hydrate (CH)
  • Nurse
  • Pediatric sedation


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