A national survey on the practice patterns of anesthesiologist intensivists in the use of muscle relaxants

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This study was created to address the dearth of information regarding actual usage of muscle relaxants in the ICU setting. The survey population was chosen as one with great familiarity in the use of muscle relaxants. The 55% response rate was significantly greater than the expected response rate for a single mailing survey. In the ICU setting, neuromuscular blocking drugs are most frequently used to facilitate mechanical ventilation. The prevalence of vecu-ronium use is of interest in light of recent case reports of prolonged neuromuscular blockade after long-term vecuronium administration. The low frequency of peripheral nerve stimulator monitoring during muscle relaxation may contribute, in part, to the problem of prolonged blockade after drug withdrawal. Muscle relaxants are not used in the absence of sedation and/ or analgesia by this practitioner population. (Crit Care Med 1992; 20:1341–1345)

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