Sedation and neuromuscular blockade in paediatric intensive care: a review of current practice in the UK
Article first published online: 4 FEB 2003
Volume 13, Issue 2, pages 147–151, February 2003
How to Cite
Playfor, S. D., Thomas, D. A. and Choonara, I. (2003), Sedation and neuromuscular blockade in paediatric intensive care: a review of current practice in the UK. Pediatric Anesthesia, 13: 147–151. doi: 10.1046/j.1460-9592.2003.00989.x
- Issue published online: 4 FEB 2003
- Article first published online: 4 FEB 2003
- critical care;
- intensive care;
- neuromuscular blocking agents;
SummaryBackground: Our aim was to investigate the current practice of sedation and neuromuscular blockade in critically ill children in paediatric intensive care units (PICUs) in the UK.
Methods: A postal questionnaire was sent to all PICUs in the UK.
Results: The most commonly used sedative agents were midazolam in combination with morphine. Written clinical guidelines for the sedation of critically ill children were available in 45% of units. Sedation is formally assessed in 40% of units. Vecuronium is the most commonly used neuromuscular blocking agent. In the UK, 31% of critically ill children are likely to receive neuromuscular blocking agents. Depth of neuromuscular blockade is routinely assessed in 16% of patients.
Conclusions: Relatively few units possess clinical guidelines for the sedation of critically ill children, and only a minority formally assess sedation levels. Where neuromuscular blocking agents are administered, sedation is frequently inadequately assessed and the depth of neuromuscular blockade is rarely estimated.