Does Routine Midazolam Administration Prior to Nasogastric Tube Insertion in the Emergency Department Decrease Patients’ Pain? (A Pilot Study)

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Objectives

Patients report pain and discomfort with nasogastric tube (NGT) intubation. We tested the hypothesis that premedication with midazolam alleviates pain during NGT placement in the emergency department (ED) by > 13 on a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS).

Methods

We performed a double-blind randomized controlled pilot study, assigning ED patients requiring NGT placement to midazolam or placebo. All patients received intranasal cophenylcaine; additionally, they received an intravenous (IV) dose of the study drug, either 2 mg of IV midazolam or saline control. Nurses placed NGTs while observed by research staff, who then interviewed subjects to determine the primary outcome of pain using a VAS. Additional data collected from patients and their nurses included discomfort during the procedure, difficulty of tube insertion, and complications.

Results

We enrolled 23 eligible patients and obtained complete data in all: 10 midazolam and 13 controls. We found a significant reduction in mean pain VAS score of −31 (95% confidence interval = −53 to −9 mm) with 2 mg of midazolam (mean ± SD = 52 ± 30 mm), compared to placebo (mean ± SD = 21 ± 18 mm), more than double the effect size considered clinically relevant. Treatment did not impact ease of placement and there were no serious adverse effects.

Conclusions

Premedication with 2 mg of IV midazolam reduces pain of NGT insertion in ED patients without the need for full procedural sedation.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles