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Premedication for neonatal intubation in Australia and New Zealand: A survey of current practice

Authors

  • Ben Wheeler,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Women's and Child Health, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
      Dr Ben Wheeler, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand. Fax: +64 3474 7817; email: Ben.wheeler@otago.ac.nz
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  • Roland Broadbent,

    1. Department of Women's and Child Health, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
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  • David Reith

    1. Department of Women's and Child Health, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
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  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

Dr Ben Wheeler, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand. Fax: +64 3474 7817; email: Ben.wheeler@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

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.

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