Analgesia and Sedation Protocol for Mechanically Ventilated Postsurgical Children Reduces Benzodiazepines and Withdrawal Symptoms—But Not in All Patients

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Abstract

Background

We demonstrated recently that the implementation of a nurse-driven analgesia and sedation protocol (pediatric analgesia and sedation protocol [pASP]) for mechanically ventilated nonpostsurgical patients reduces the total dose of benzodiazepines and the withdrawal symptoms significantly. It has not been investigated if these results can also be expected in the group of patients undergoing surgery.

Objectives

To evaluate the effects of the pASP in mechanically ventilated postsurgical children regarding drug dosage, duration of mechanical ventilation, length of stay, and rate of withdrawal symptoms.

Methods

This is a two-phase prospective observational control study. The preimplementation group was managed by the physician's order and the postimplementation group was managed with the pASP including COMFORT-B, nurse interpretation of sedation, and Sophia observation withdrawal symptoms scale scoring.

Measurements and Main Results

One hundred and sixteen patients were included before and one hundred and ten patients after implementation. The pASP had no effect on length of pediatric intensive care unit stay or duration of mechanical ventilation. The protocol reduced total (5.0 mg/kg [0.5-58.0] vs 4.0 mg/kg [0.0-47.0]; p = 0.021) and daily doses (4.4 mg/kg/d [1.1-33.9] vs 2.9 mg/kg/d [0.0-9.9]; p < 0.001) of benzodiazepines significantly. No difference was observed in total and daily doses of opioids (5.0 mg/kg [0.1-67.0] vs 3.0 mg/kg [0.1-71.0]; p = 0.81) and (0.7 mg/kg/d [0.0-7.0] vs. 0.8 mg/kg/d [0.0-3.7]; p = 0.35), respectively. Rate of withdrawal symptoms was significantly lower after implementation (35.3 vs 20.0%; p = 0.01), but not in patients after solid organ transplantation or oncological patients.

Conclusion

The nurse-driven analgesia and sedation protocol is an effective procedure to reduce the total doses of benzodiazepines and occurrence of withdrawal symptoms in postsurgical children, which are naïve to opioids or benzodiazepines.

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