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Keywords:

  • Intubation;
  • Neonatology;
  • Propofol;
  • Sedation

Abstract

Aim

To determine the effects of propofol for endotracheal intubation in neonates in daily clinical practice.

Methods

We prospectively studied the pharmacodynamic effects of intravenous propofol administration in neonates who needed endotracheal intubation at the neonatal intensive care unit.

Results

Propofol was used for 62 intubations in neonates with postmenstrual ages ranging from 24 + 3 weeks to 44 + 5 weeks and bodyweights ranging from 520 to 4380 g. A 2 mg/kg bodyweight propofol starting dose was sufficient in 37% of patients; additional propofol was needed less often on the first postnatal day. The mean amount of propofol used was 3.3 (±1.2) mg/kg. The success rate of intubation depended on the experience of the physician and was related to the total administered amount of propofol. Hypotension occurred in 39% of patients and occurred more often at the first postnatal day. In 15% of procedures, propofol mono therapy was insufficient.

Conclusion

This study shows that high doses of propofol are needed to reach effective sedation in neonates for intubation, with hypotension as a side effect in a considerable percentage of patients. Further research in newborn patients needs to identify optimal propofol doses and risk factors for hypotension.