Use of fentanyl and midazolam in mechanically ventilated children—Does the method of infusion matter?

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Background and objective:Benzodiazepines and opioids are commonly used in pediatric intensive care unit. However, there is no previous study assessing the use of administering these drugs combined (single solution) or separately. We sought to evaluate the impact of these 2 different methods of providing sedation/analgesia in pediatric intensive care unit.Methods:One hundred twelve patients mechanically ventilated for more than 48 hours were randomized to receive a protocolized sedation regime comprising midazolam and fentanyl either separately (group 1, 57 patients) or combined as a single solution (group 2, 55 patients). Primary end point variable was the cumulated dose of midazolam and fentanyl.Results:The median cumulated doses of both fentanyl (0.19 vs 0.37 mg/kg, P < .05) and midazolam (28.8 vs 45.6 mg/kg, P < .05) required in group 2 were higher when compared with those of group 1. Moreover, group 2 patients had a significantly longer time of vasopressor drugs requirement and a higher number of patients developing tolerance.Conclusion:Patients who received a single solution of midazolam and fentanyl had a higher cumulated dose of compared with those patients who did not. The potential risk for long-term neurologic effects on developing brains associated with this finding should be considered.

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