DG Journal Club
Respir Care. 2022 Nov 22
BACKGROUND Sedation in intensive care is fundamental for optimizing clinical outcomes. For many years the world has been facing high rates of opioid use, and to combat the increasing opioid addiction plans at both national and international level have been implemented. The COVID-19 pandemic posed a major challenge for health systems and also increased the use of sedatives and opioid analgesia for prolonged periods of time, and at high doses, in a significant proportion of patients. In our institutions, the shortage of many drugs for intravenous (IV) analgosedation forces us to alternatives to replace out-of-stock drugs or to seek sedation goals, which are difficult to obtain with traditional drugs at high doses.
METHODS: This was an analytical retrospective cohort study evaluating the follow-up of subjects with inclusion criteria from ICU admission to discharge (alive or dead). Five end points were measured: need for high-dose opioids (≥200µg/h), comparison of inhaled versus IV sedation of opioid analgesic doses, midazolam dose, need for muscle relaxant, and risk of delirium.
RESULTS A total of 283 subjects were included in the study, of whom 230 were administered IV sedation and 53 inhaled sedation. In the inhaled sedation group, the relative risks (RRs) were 0.5 (95% CI 0.4-0.8,P= .045) for need of high-dose fentanyl, 0.3 (95% CI 0.20-0.45,P<.001) for need of muscle relaxant, and 0.8 (95% CI 0.61-1.15,P= .25) for risk of delirium. The median difference of fentanyl dose between the inhaled sedation and IV sedation groups was 61µg/h or 1,200µg/d (2.2 ampules/d,P<.001), and that of midazolam dose was 5.7 mg/h.
CONCLUSIONS Inhaled sedation was associated with lower doses of opioids, benzodiazepines, and muscle relaxants compared to IV sedation. This therapy should be considered as an alternative in critically ill patients requiring prolonged ventilatory support and where IV sedation is not possible, always under adequate supervision of ICU staff.
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