Propofol is a type of anaesthetic that is also known as Dirprivan. It is administered by way of an intravenous tube and is given to patients prior to surgery or whilst in intensive care. Well-documented research exists into Propofol side effects in children.
It is a very strong anaesthetic and has been known to cause organ failure. For this reason, some medical professionals think that it is not recommendable that Propofol be prescribed for children. However, under correct medical supervision, Propofol is used regularly in paediatric wards to both sedate children and put them to sleep for short medical procedures.
Generally speaking kids don’t like Propofol because it’s administered through an IV tube or injection, both of which require a needle. Nursing and medical staff must do their best to distract kids who might be put off by this.
One of the most common Propofol side effects in children is slow and shallow breathing. Because of this children are given an oxygen mask to assist their breathing while sedated. In rare cases, children may also be given a breathing tube to help with their respiration during a medical procedure or operation.
Propofol is also known to lower blood pressure. Because of this, a child’s blood pressure is also monitored through an operation or procedure. It is also possible that IV fluids are given either before or during the procedure in order to maintain blood pressure levels. In fact, both cardiac and blood pressure monitors are put in place during a procedure to monitor both heart rate and blood pressure.
Some children also experience muscle movement but this is a normal reaction and is not just caused by the Propofol.
Keep in mind that Propofol is a very fast acting drug so although a child can be put to sleep in under a minute, the drug will wear off fifteen to twenty minutes later and the child should wake up feeling fine, although a little drowsy. The child should be fully back to normal an hour or so later.
Parents should only become alarmed by Propofol side effects in children if after its use the following signs are noted:
- the child is regularly vomiting,
- the child is extremely irritated,
- the child has trouble waking up, or
- the child shows any one of : fever, rash, wheezing or trouble breathing.
Propofol Side Effects in AdultsThe anaesthetic Propofol has potentially much the same side-effects in adults that it has in children. As with children, it can cause high or low blood pressure in adults. It can also potentially lead to cardiovascular secondary effects of a serious nature such as restricting the flow of blood to the heart and heart attacks.
It can potentially affect the nervous system which leads to either an increase or a reduction in the movement of muscles, muscle spasms and tingling or numbness. Propofol can also cause agitation, dizziness, some drowsiness and delirium. Euphoria, seizures, chills, some anxiety, depression, twitching, headaches and insomnia are some other side effects Propofol has been linked to.
In some cases, it can lead to respiratory problems including wheezing, coughing and hypoxia.
Further possible secondary effects that have been linked to the use of Propofol include alterations of taste, double vision, failure of kidneys, some pain in the patient's eyes, ears and a ringing sound in the ears.
All in all, with correct medical supervision, Propofol is not a dangerous drug and both Propofol side effects in children and adults are rarely a cause for grave concern.
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