Propofol Use in Israeli PICUs*


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Abstract

Objectives:In Israel, the recommendation for the use of propofol is age limited. Furthermore, procedural sedations involving propofol must be performed only by anesthesiologists. Propofol is frequently used in the PICUs in Israel.Design:Questionnaire survey.Setting:PICUs in Israel.Subjects:None.Interventions:None.Measurements and Main Results:Physicians from 13 PICUs (86.6%) responded to the questionnaire. Propofol was used for induction, procedural sedation, and ongoing ICU sedation in 100%, 70%, and 12% of cases, respectively. Eighty-eight percent of the participants limited the duration of propofol infusion to 24 hours at a dose of less than or equal to 4 mg/kg/1 hr, but 40% administered propofol as needed without specifying an upper dose limit. Twenty-five percent encountered adverse effects such as apnea, desaturation, and bradycardia, but only two of the participants suspected propofol infusion syndrome, each in one patient. All the participants agreed to expand the indications for propofol use in the pediatric age group. Ketamine was the drug mostly used instead of propofol (50%), followed by fentanyl (30%), midazolam (30%), and remifentanil (5%). Apart from anesthesiologists, PICU physicians support the use of propofol by physicians who have the technical skills for rapid-sequence intubation and advanced airway management.Conclusions:Off-label use of propofol is an accepted practice in Israeli PICUs. Propofol has a unique profile that makes it an attractive sedative agent in many clinical settings. PICU physicians may want to prescribe it, at least for short periods and at low doses.

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