Intraoperative apnea in children after buffered 5% povidone-iodine site sterilization for strabismus surgery

John D. Emhardt, Kathryn M. Haider, David A. Plager, Dava L. Grundhoefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Background Presurgical preparation for ocular surgery typically utilizes a buffered 5% povidone-iodine preparation solution. It was our observation that a significant number of spontaneously ventilating patients under sevoflurane anesthesia would become apneic upon ophthalmic instillation of this solution. This study was performed to confirm or refute this observation and to determine whether there were any patient variables that might predict this phenomenon. Methods After Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, thirty pediatric patients scheduled for strabismus surgery were enrolled. Anesthesia was induced and maintained with sevoflurane via laryngeal mask airway, and all patients were breathing spontaneously. All patients received preoperative sedation with oral midazolam (0.5 kg·kg-1, maximum 12 mg). Presurgical preparation was performed with saline wash followed by instillation of buffered 5% povidone-iodine solution. Respiratory rate was recorded at the time of surgical preparation. Apnea was defined as lack of respiratory effort for 20 s or greater. Results Data from twenty-eight children (ages 1.4-11 years) were ultimately recorded. Fifteen of the twenty-eight patients developed apnea (median duration 40, IQR 37, range 20-262 s) at the time of surgical site preparation. Conclusions Apnea at the time of ocular preparation with buffered 5% povidone-iodine solution is common. The precise mechanism of this response is unknown.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-195
Number of pages3
JournalPaediatric Anaesthesia
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • anesthesia
  • apnea
  • child
  • laryngeal masks
  • povidone-iodine
  • strabismus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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