• intubation;
  • neonate;
  • premedication

Aim:  This study aims to describe the current approach to intubation premedication in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in Australia and New Zealand

Methods:  A literature review regarding intubation premedication in the newborn was carried out to inform questionnaire design. A web-based survey of 28 NICUs and two neonatal emergency transport services was conducted and supplemented by telephone contact to ensure completion.

Results:  All the tertiary NICUs and neonatal emergency transport services in Australia and New Zealand use premedication for elective intubation of neonates. Eighty per cent of units have a written policy. There were 28 of 30 units (93%) that use muscle relaxants, mostly suxamethonium. The choice of sedative medication is varied.

Conclusions:  Australian and New Zealand neonatal units have a high use of intubation premedication including muscle relaxants, but vary considerably in their choice of sedative medication.