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1.  Sedation in the intensive care unit with remifentanil/propofol versus midazolam/fentanyl: a randomised, open-label, pharmacoeconomic trial 
Critical Care  2006;10(3):R91.
Introduction
Remifentanil is an opioid with a unique pharmacokinetic profile. Its organ-independent elimination and short context-sensitive half time of 3 to 4 minutes lead to a highly predictable offset of action. We tested the hypothesis that with an analgesia-based sedation regimen with remifentanil and propofol, patients after cardiac surgery reach predefined criteria for discharge from the intensive care unit (ICU) sooner, resulting in shorter duration of time spent in the ICU, compared to a conventional regimen consisting of midazolam and fentanyl. In addition, the two regimens were compared regarding their costs.
Methods
In this prospective, open-label, randomised, single-centre study, a total of 80 patients (18 to 75 years old), who had undergone cardiac surgery, were postoperatively assigned to one of two treatment regimens for sedation in the ICU for 12 to 72 hours. Patients in the remifentanil/propofol group received remifentanil (6- max. 60 μg kg-1 h-1; dose exceeds recommended labelling). Propofol (0.5 to 4.0 mg kg-1 h-1) was supplemented only in the case of insufficient sedation at maximal remifentanil dose. Patients in the midazolam/fentanyl group received midazolam (0.02 to 0.2 mg kg-1 h-1) and fentanyl (1.0 to 7.0 μg kg-1 h-1). For treatment of pain after extubation, both groups received morphine and/or non-opioid analgesics.
Results
The time intervals (mean values ± standard deviation) from arrival at the ICU until extubation (20.7 ± 5.2 hours versus 24.2 h ± 7.0 hours) and from arrival until eligible discharge from the ICU (46.1 ± 22.0 hours versus 62.4 ± 27.2 hours) were significantly (p < 0.05) shorter in the remifentanil/propofol group. Overall costs of the ICU stay per patient were equal (approximately €1,700 on average).
Conclusion
Compared with midazolam/fentanyl, a remifentanil-based regimen for analgesia and sedation supplemented with propofol significantly reduced the time on mechanical ventilation and allowed earlier discharge from the ICU, at equal overall costs.
doi:10.1186/cc4939
PMCID: PMC1550941  PMID: 16780597
2.  Effect of an analgo-sedation protocol for neurointensive patients: a two-phase interventional non-randomized pilot study 
Critical Care  2010;14(2):R71.
Introduction
Sedation protocols are needed for neurointensive patients. The aim of this pilot study was to describe sedation practice at a neurointensive care unit and to assess the feasibility and efficacy of a new sedation protocol. The primary outcomes were a shift from sedation-based to analgesia-based sedation and improved pain management. The secondary outcomes were a reduction in unplanned extubations and duration of sedation.
Methods
This was a two-phase (before-after), prospective controlled study at a university-affiliated, 14-bed neurointensive care unit in Denmark. The sample included patients requiring mechanical ventilation for at least 48 hours treated with continuous sedative and analgesic infusions or both. During the observation phase the participants (n = 106) were sedated as usual (non-protocolized), and during the intervention phase the participants (n = 109) were managed according to a new sedation protocol.
Results
Our study showed a shift toward analgo-sedation, suggesting feasibility of the protocol. We found a significant reduction in the use of propofol (P < .001) and midazolam (P = .001) and an increase in fentanyl (P < .001) and remifentanil (P = .003). Patients selected for daily sedation interruption woke up faster, and estimates of pain free patients increased from 56.8% to 82.7% (P < .001), suggesting efficacy of the protocol. The duration of sedation and unplanned extubations were unchanged.
Conclusions
Our pilot study showed feasibility and partial efficacy of our protocol. Some neurointensive patients might not benefit from protocolized practice. We recommend an interdisciplinary effort to target patients requiring less sedation, as issues of oversedation and inadequate pain management still need more attention.
Trial registration
ISRCTN80999859.
doi:10.1186/cc8978
PMCID: PMC2887194  PMID: 20403186
3.  Current practices and barriers impairing physicians’ and nurses’ adherence to analgo-sedation recommendations in the intensive care unit - a national survey 
Critical Care  2014;18(6):655.
Introduction
Appropriate management of analgo-sedation in the intensive care unit (ICU) is associated with improved patient outcomes. Our objectives were: a) to describe utilization of analgo-sedation regimens and strategies (assessment using scales, protocolized analgo-sedation and daily sedation interruption (DSI)) and b) to describe and compare perceptions challenging utilization of these strategies, amongst physicians and nurses.
Methods
In the 101 adult ICUs in Belgium, we surveyed all physicians and a sample of seven nurses per ICU. A multidisciplinary team designed a survey tool based on a previous qualitative study and a literature review. The latter was available in paper (for nurses essentially) and web based (for physicians). Topics addressed included: practices, perceptions regarding recommended strategies and demographics. Pre-testing involved respondents’ debriefings and test re-test reliability. Four reminders were sent.
Results
Response rate was 60% (898/1,491 participants) representing 94% (95/101) of all hospitals. Protocols were available to 31% of respondents. Validated scales to monitor pain in patients unable to self-report and to monitor sedation were available to 11% and 75% of respondents, respectively. Frequency of use of sedation scales varied (never to hourly). More physicians than nurses agreed with statements reporting benefits of sedation scales, including: increased autonomy for nurses (82% versus 68%, P <0.001), enhancement of their role (84% versus 66%, P <0.001), aid in monitoring administration of sedatives (83% versus 68%, P <0.001), and cost control (54% versus 29%, P <0.001). DSI was used in less than 25% of patients for 75% of respondents. More nurses than physicians indicated DSI is contra-indicated in hemodynamic instability (66% versus 53%, P <0.001) and complicated weaning from mechanical ventilation (47% versus 29%, P <0.001). Conversely, more physicians than nurses indicated contra-indications including: seizures (56% versus 40%, P <0.001) and refractory intracranial hypertension (90% versus 83%, P <0.001). More nurses than physicians agreed with statements reporting DSI impairs patient comfort (60% versus 37%, P <0.001) and increases complications such as self-extubation (82% versus 69%, P <0.001).
Conclusions
Current analgo-sedation practices leave room for improvement. Physicians and nurses meet different challenges in using appropriate analgo-sedation strategies. Implementational interventions must be tailored according to profession.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0655-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0655-1
PMCID: PMC4324789  PMID: 25475212
4.  Decreased duration of mechanical ventilation when comparing analgesia-based sedation using remifentanil with standard hypnotic-based sedation for up to 10 days in intensive care unit patients: a randomised trial [ISRCTN47583497] 
Critical Care  2005;9(3):R200-R210.
Introduction
This randomised, open-label, multicentre study compared the safety and efficacy of an analgesia-based sedation regime using remifentanil with a conventional hypnotic-based sedation regime in critically ill patients requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation for up to 10 days.
Methods
One hundred and five randomised patients received either a remifentanil-based sedation regime (initial dose 6 to 9 μg kg-1 h-1 (0.1 to 0.15 μg kg-1 min-1) titrated to response before the addition of midazolam for further sedation (n = 57), or a midazolam-based sedation regime with fentanyl or morphine added for analgesia (n = 48). Patients were sedated to an optimal Sedation–Agitation Scale (SAS) score of 3 or 4 and a pain intensity (PI) score of 1 or 2.
Results
The remifentanil-based sedation regime significantly reduced the duration of mechanical ventilation by more than 2 days (53.5 hours, P = 0.033), and significantly reduced the time from the start of the weaning process to extubation by more than 1 day (26.6 hours, P < 0.001). There was a trend towards shortening the stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) by 1 day. The median time of optimal SAS and PI was the same in both groups. There was a significant difference in the median time to offset of pharmacodynamic effects when discontinuing study medication in patients not extubated at 10 days (remifentanil 0.250 hour, comparator 1.167 hours; P < 0.001). Of the patients treated with remifentanil, 26% did not receive any midazolam during the study. In those patients that did receive midazolam, the use of remifentanil considerably reduced the total dose of midazolam required. Between days 3 and 10 the weighted mean infusion rate of remifentanil remained constant with no evidence of accumulation or of a development of tolerance to remifentanil. There was no difference between the groups in SAS or PI score in the 24 hours after stopping the study medication. Remifentanil was well tolerated.
Conclusion
Analgesia-based sedation with remifentanil was well tolerated; it reduces the duration of mechanical ventilation and improves the weaning process compared with standard hypnotic-based sedation regimes in ICU patients requiring long-term ventilation for up to 10 days.
doi:10.1186/cc3495
PMCID: PMC1175879  PMID: 15987391
5.  Safety and efficacy of analgesia-based sedation with remifentanil versus standard hypnotic-based regimens in intensive care unit patients with brain injuries: a randomised, controlled trial [ISRCTN50308308] 
Critical Care  2004;8(4):R268-R280.
Introduction
This randomised, open-label, observational, multicentre, parallel group study assessed the safety and efficacy of analgesia-based sedation using remifentanil in the neuro-intensive care unit.
Methods
Patients aged 18–80 years admitted to the intensive care unit within the previous 24 hours, with acute brain injury or after neurosurgery, intubated, expected to require mechanical ventilation for 1–5 days and requiring daily downward titration of sedation for assessment of neurological function were studied. Patients received one of two treatment regimens. Regimen one consisted of analgesia-based sedation, in which remifentanil (initial rate 9 μg kg-1 h-1) was titrated before the addition of a hypnotic agent (propofol [0.5 mg kg-1 h-1] during days 1–3, midazolam [0.03 mg kg-1 h-1] during days 4 and 5) (n = 84). Regimen two consisted of hypnotic-based sedation: hypnotic agent (propofol days 1–3; midazolam days 4 and 5) and fentanyl (n = 37) or morphine (n = 40) according to routine clinical practice. For each regimen, agents were titrated to achieve optimal sedation (Sedation–Agitation Scale score 1–3) and analgesia (Pain Intensity score 1–2).
Results
Overall, between-patient variability around the time of neurological assessment was statistically significantly smaller when using remifentanil (remifentanil 0.44 versus fentanyl 0.86 [P = 0.024] versus morphine 0.98 [P = 0.006]. Overall, mean neurological assessment times were significantly shorter when using remifentanil (remifentanil 0.41 hour versus fentanyl 0.71 hour [P = 0.001] versus morphine 0.82 hour [P < 0.001]). Patients receiving the remifentanil-based regimen were extubated significantly faster than those treated with morphine (1.0 hour versus 1.93 hour, P = 0.001) but there was no difference between remifentanil and fentanyl. Remifentanil was effective, well tolerated and provided comparable haemodynamic stability to that of the hypnotic-based regimen. Over three times as many users rated analgesia-based sedation with remifentanil as very good or excellent in facilitating assessment of neurological function compared with the hypnotic-based regimen.
Conclusions
Analgesia-based sedation with remifentanil permitted significantly faster and more predictable awakening for neurological assessment. Analgesia-based sedation with remifentanil was very effective, well tolerated and had a similar adverse event and haemodynamic profile to those of hypnotic-based regimens when used in critically ill neuro-intensive care unit patients for up to 5 days.
doi:10.1186/cc2896
PMCID: PMC522854  PMID: 15312228
analgesia-based sedation; fentanyl; intensive care; morphine; remifentanil
6.  Remifentanil versus fentanyl for analgesia based sedation to provide patient comfort in the intensive care unit: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial [ISRCTN43755713] 
Critical Care  2003;8(1):R1-R11.
Introduction
This double-blind, randomized, multicentre study was conducted to compare the efficacy and safety of remifentanil and fentanyl for intensive care unit (ICU) sedation and analgesia.
Methods
Intubated cardiac, general postsurgical or medical patients (aged ≥ 18 years), who were mechanically ventilated for 12–72 hours, received remifentanil (9 μg/kg per hour; n = 77) or fentanyl (1.5 μg/kg per hour; n = 75). Initial opioid titration was supplemented with propofol (0.5 mg/kg per hour), if required, to achieve optimal sedation (i.e. a Sedation–Agitation Scale score of 4).
Results
The mean percentages of time in optimal sedation were 88.3% for remifentanil and 89.3% for fentanyl (not significant). Patients with a Sedation–Agitation Scale score of 4 exhibited significantly less between-patient variability in optimal sedation on remifentanil (variance ratio of fentanyl to remifentanil 1.84; P = 0.009). Of patients who received fentanyl 40% required propofol, as compared with 35% of those who received remifentanil (median total doses 683 mg and 378 mg, respectively; P = 0.065). Recovery was rapid (median time to extubation: 1.1 hours for remifentanil and 1.3 hours for fentanyl; not significant). Remifentanil patients who experienced pain did so for significantly longer during extubation (6.5% of the time versus 1.4%; P = 0.013), postextubation (10.2% versus 3.6%; P = 0.001) and post-treatment (13.5% versus 5.1%; P = 0.001), but they exhibited similar haemodynamic stability with no significant differences in adverse event incidence.
Conclusion
Analgesia based sedation with remifentanil titrated to response provided effective sedation and rapid extubation without the need for propofol in most patients. Fentanyl was similar, probably because the dosing algorithm demanded frequent monitoring and adjustment, thereby preventing over-sedation. Rapid offset of analgesia with remifentanil resulted in a greater incidence of pain, highlighting the need for proactive pain management when transitioning to longer acting analgesics, which is difficult within a double-blind study but would be quite possible under normal circumstances.
doi:10.1186/cc2398
PMCID: PMC420059  PMID: 14975049
analgesia; analgesia based sedation; critical care; fentanyl; propofol; remifentanil; renal function; sedation
7.  Midazolam and propofol used alone or sequentially for long-term sedation in critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients: a prospective, randomized study 
Critical Care  2014;18(3):R122.
Introduction
Midazolam and propofol used alone for long-term sedation are associated with adverse effects. Sequential use may reduce the adverse effects, and lead to faster recovery, earlier extubation and lower costs. This study evaluates the effects, safety, and cost of midazolam, propofol, and their sequential use for long-term sedation in critically ill mechanically ventilated patients.
Methods
A total of 135 patients who required mechanical ventilation for >3 days were randomly assigned to receive midazolam (group M), propofol (group P), or sequential use of both (group M-P). In group M-P, midazolam was switched to propofol until the patients passed the spontaneous breathing trial (SBT) safety screen. The primary endpoints included recovery time, extubation time and mechanical ventilation time. The secondary endpoints were pharmaceutical cost, total cost of ICU stay, and recollection to mechanical ventilation-related events.
Results
The incidence of agitation following cessation of sedation in group M-P was lower than group M (19.4% versus 48.7%, P = 0.01). The mean percentage of adequate sedation and duration of sedation were similar in the three groups. The recovery time, extubation time and mechanical ventilation time of group M were 58.0 (interquartile range (IQR), 39.0) hours, 45.0 (IQR, 24.5) hours, and 192.0 (IQR, 124.0) hours, respectively; these were significantly longer than the other groups, while they were similar between the other two groups. In the treatment-received analysis, ICU duration was longer in group M than group M-P (P = 0.016). Using an intention-to-treat analysis and a treatment-received analysis, respectively, the pharmaceutical cost of group M-P was lower than group P (P <0.01) and its ICU cost was lower than group M (P <0.01; P = 0.015). The proportion of group M-P with unbearable memory of the uncomfortable events was lower than in group M (11.7% versus 25.0%, P <0.01), while the proportion with no memory was similar (P >0.05). The incidence of hypotension in group M-P was lower than group (P = 0.01).
Conclusion
Sequential use of midazolam and propofol was a safe and effective sedation protocol, with higher clinical effectiveness and better cost-benefit ratio than midazolam or propofol used alone, for long-term sedation of critically ill mechanically ventilated patients.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN01173443. Registered 25 February 2014.
doi:10.1186/cc13922
PMCID: PMC4095601  PMID: 24935517
8.  Dexmedetomidine use in the ICU: Are we there yet? 
Critical Care  2013;17(3):320.
Expanded abstract
Citation
Jakob SM, Ruokonen E, Grounds RM, Sarapohja T, Garratt C, Pocock SJ, Bratty JR, Takala J; Dexmedeto midine for Long-Term Sedation Investigators: Dexmedetomidine vesus midazolam or propofol for sedation during prolonged mechanical ventilation: two randomized controlled trials. JAMA 2012, 307:1151-1160.
Background
Long-term sedation with midazolam or propofol in intensive care units (ICUs) has serious adverse effects. Dexmedetomidine, an alpha-2 agonist available for ICU sedation, may reduce the duration of mechanical ventilation and enhance patient comfort.
Methods
Objective
The objective was to determine the efficacy of dexmedetomidine versus midazolam or propofol (preferred usual care) in maintaining sedation, reducing duration of mechanical ventilation, and improving patients' interaction with nursing care.
Design
Two phase 3 multicenter, randomized, double-blind trials were conducted.
Setting
The MIDEX (Midazolam vs. Dexmedetomidine) trial compared midazolam with dexmedetomidine in ICUs of 44 centers in nine European countries. The PRODEX (Propofol vs. Dexmedetomidine) trial compared propofol with dexmedetomidine in 31 centers in six European countries and two centers in Russia.
Subjects
The subjects were adult ICU patients who were receiving mechanical ventilation and who needed light to moderate sedation for more than 24 hours.
Intervention
After enrollment, 251 and 249 subjects were randomly assigned midazolam and dexmedetomidine, respectively, in the MIDEX trial, and 247 and 251 subjects were randomly assigned propofol and dexmedetomidine, respectively, in the PRODEX trial. Sedation with dexmedetomidine, midazolam, or propofol; daily sedation stops; and spontaneous breathing trials were employed.
Outcomes
For each trial, investigators tested whether dexmedetomidine was noninferior to control with respect to proportion of time at target sedation level (measured by Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale) and superior to control with respect to duration of mechanical ventilation. Secondary end points were the ability of the patient to communicate pain (measured by using a visual analogue scale [VAS]) and length of ICU stay. Time at target sedation was analyzed in per-protocol (midazolam, n = 233, versus dexmedetomidine, n = 227; propofol, n = 214, versus dexmedetomidine, n = 223) population.
Results
Dexmedetomidine/midazolam ratio in time at target sedation was 1.07 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.97 to 1.18), and dexmedetomidine/propofol ratio in time at target sedation was 1.00 (95% CI 0.92 to 1.08). Median duration of mechanical ventilation appeared shorter with dexmedetomidine (123 hours, interquartile range (IQR) 67 to 337) versus midazolam (164 hours, IQR 92 to 380; P = 0.03) but not with dexmedetomidine (97 hours, IQR 45 to 257) versus propofol (118 hours, IQR 48 to 327; P = 0.24). Patient interaction (measured by using VAS) was improved with dexmedetomidine (estimated score difference versus midazolam 19.7, 95% CI 15.2 to 24.2; P <0.001; and versus propofol 11.2, 95% CI 6.4 to 15.9; P <0.001). Lengths of ICU and hospital stays and mortality rates were similar. Dexmedetomidine versus midazolam patients had more hypotension (51/247 [20.6%] versus 29/250 [11.6%]; P = 0.007) and bradycardia (35/247 [14.2%] versus 13/250 [5.2%]; P <0.001).
Conclusions
Among ICU patients receiving prolonged mechanical ventilation, dexmedetomidine was not inferior to midazolam and propofol in maintaining light to moderate sedation. Dexmedetomidine reduced duration of mechanical ventilation compared with midazolam and improved the ability of patients to communicate pain compared with midazolam and propofol. Greater numbers of adverse effects were associated with dexmedetomidine.
doi:10.1186/cc12707
PMCID: PMC3706806  PMID: 23731973
9.  Economic Evaluation of Dexmedetomidine Relative to Midazolam for Sedation in the Intensive Care Unit 
Background
Dexmedetomidine is an α2-receptor agonist administered by continuous infusion in the intensive care unit (ICU) for sedation of critically ill patients who are undergoing mechanical ventilation following intubation. Relative to ICU patients receiving midazolam (a γ-aminobutyric acid agonist) for sedation, those receiving dexmedetomidine spent less time on ventilation, had fewer episodes of delirium, and had a lower incidence of tachycardia and hypertension.
Objective
To assess the economic impact, in a Canadian context, of dexmedetomidine, relative to midazolam, for sedation in the ICU.
Methods
This economic evaluation was based on a cost–consequences analysis, from the perspective of the Canadian health care system. The selected time horizon was an ICU stay (maximum 30 days). Clinical data were obtained from a previously published prospective, randomized, double-blind trial comparing dexmedetomidine and midazolam. This evaluation considered the costs of the medications, mechanical ventilation, and delirium episodes, as well as costs associated with adverse events requiring an intervention. All costs were adjusted to 2010 and are reported in Canadian dollars.
Results
The average cost of the medication was higher for dexmedetomidine than midazolam ($1929.57 versus $180.10 per patient), but the average costs associated with mechanical ventilation and management of delirium were lower with dexmedetomidine than with midazolam ($2939 versus $4448 for ventilation; $2127 versus $3012 for delirium). The overall cost per patient was lower with dexmedetomidine than with midazolam ($7022 versus $7680). Deterministic sensitivity analysis confirmed the robustness of the difference.
Conclusions
The use of dexmedetomidine was, in most contexts, a more favourable strategy than the use of midazolam, in terms of clinical consequences and economic impact. Dexmedetomidine was less expensive than midazolam and was associated with lower occurrence of delirium and shorter duration of mechanical ventilation.
PMCID: PMC3329902  PMID: 22529402
dexmedetomidine; sedation; intensive care unit; economic evaluation; dexmédétomidine; sédation; unité de soins intensifs; évaluation économique
10.  Respiratory effects of dexmedetomidine in the surgical patient requiring intensive care 
Critical Care  2000;4(5):302-308.
The respiratory effects of dexmedetomidine were retrospectively examined in 33 postsurgical patients involved in a randomised, placebo-controlled trial after extubation in the intensive care unit (ICU). Morphine requirements were reduced by over 50% in patients receiving dexmedetomidine. There were no differences in respiratory rates, oxygen saturations, arterial pH and arterial partial carbon dioxide tension (PaCO2) between the groups. Interestingly the arterial partial oxygen tension (PaO2) : fractional inspired oxygen (FIO2) ratios were statistically significantly higher in the dexmedetomidine group. Dexmedetomidine provides important postsurgical analgesia and appears to have no clinically important adverse effects on respiration in the surgical patient who requires intensive care.
Introduction:
The α2-agonist dexmedetomidine is a new class of sedative drug that is being investigated for use in ICU settings. It is an effective agent for the management of sedation and analgesia after cardiac, general, orthopaedic, head and neck, oncological and vascular surgery in the ICU [1]. Cardiovascular stability was demonstrated, with significant reductions in rate-pressure product during sedation and over the extubation period.
Dexmedetomidine possesses several properties that may additionally benefit those critically ill patients who require sedation. In spontaneously breathing volunteers, intravenous dexmedetomidine caused marked sedation with only mild reductions in resting ventilation at higher doses [2]. Dexmedetomidine reduces the haemodynamic response to intubation and extubation [3,4,5] and attenuates the stress response to surgery [6], as a result of the α2-mediated reduction in sympathetic tone. Therefore, it should be possible to continue sedation with dexmedetomidine over the stressful extubation period without concerns over respiratory depression, while ensuring that haemodynamic stability is preserved.
The present study is a retrospective analysis of the respiratory response to dexmedetomidine in 33 postsurgical patients (who were involved in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial [1]) after extubation in the ICU.
Methods:
Patients who participated in the present study were admitted after surgery to our general or cardiothoracic ICUs, and were expected to receive at least 6 h of postsurgical sedation and artificial ventilation.
On arrival in the ICU after surgery, patients were randomized to receive either dexmedetomidine or placebo (normal saline) with rescue sedation and analgesia being provided, only if clinically needed, with midazolam and morphine boluses, respectively. Sedation was titrated to maintain a Ramsay Sedation Score [7] of 3 or greater while the patients were intubated, and infusions of study drug were continued for a maximum of 6 h after extubation to achieve a Ramsay Sedation Score of 2 or greater.
The patients were intubated and ventilated with oxygen-enriched air to attain acceptable arterial blood gases, and extubation occurred when clinically indicated. All patients received supplemental oxygen after extubation, which was delivered by a fixed performance device. Assessment of pain was by direct communication with the patient.
Results are expressed as mean ± standard deviation unless otherwise stated. Patient characteristics, operative details and morphine usage were analyzed using the Mann-Whitney U-test. Statistical differences for respiratory measurements between the two groups were determined using analysis of variance for repeated measures, with the Bonferroni test for post hoc comparisons.
Results:
Of the 40 patients who participated in the study, seven patients could not be included in the analysis of respiratory function because they did not receive a study drug infusion after extubation. Consequently, data from 33 patients are used in the analysis of respiratory function; 16 received dexmedetomidine and 17 placebo. Inadequate arterial blood gas analysis was available in five patients (two from the dexmedetomidine group, and three from the placebo group). There were no significant differences in patient characteristics and operative details between the groups.
Requirements for morphine were reduced by more than 50% in patients receiving dexmedetomidine when compared with placebo after extubation (0.003 ± 0.004 vs 0.008 ± 0.006 mg/kg per h; P= 0.040).
There were no statistically significant differences between placebo and dexmedetomidine for oxygen saturations measured by pulse oximetry (P= 0.26), respiratory rate (P= 0.16; Fig. 1), arterial pH (P= 0.77) and PaCO2 (P= 0.75; Fig. 2) for the 6 h after extubation.
The dexmedetomidine group showed significantly higher PaO2: FIO2 ratios throughout the 6-h intubation (P= 0.036) and extubation (P= 0.037) periods (Fig. 3). There were no adverse respiratory events seen in either the dexmedetomidine or placebo group.
Respiratory rate for the 6-h periods before and after extubation. (Filled circle) Dexmedetomidine; (Empty circle) placebo. Values are expressed as mean ± standard deviation.
PaCO2 (PCO2) for the 6-h periods before and after extubation, and baseline values (B) on admission to ICU immediately after surgery. (Filled circle) Dexmedetomidine; (Empty circle) placebo. Values are expressed as mean ± standard deviation.
PaO2 : FIO2 ratio for the 6-h periods before and after extubation, and baseline values (B) on admission to ICU immediately after surgery. (Filled circle) Dexmedetomidine; (Empty circle) placebo. Values are expressed as mean ± standard deviation.
Discussion:
Lack of respiratory depression in patients sedated with α2-adrenoceptor agonists was first reported by Maxwell [8] in a study investigating the respiratory effects of clonidine. However, more recent data suggests that clonidine may cause mild respiratory depression in humans [9], and α2-adrenoceptor agonists are well known to produce profound intraoperative hypoxaemia in sheep [10,11]. The effects of dexmedetomidine on other ventilation parameters also appear to be species specific [12].
Belleville et al [2] investigated the ventilatory effects of a 2-min intravenous infusion of dexmedetomidine on human volunteers. According to those investigators, minute ventilation and arterial PaCO2 were mildly decreased and increased, respectively. There was a rightward shift and depression of the hypercapnic response with infusions of 1.0 and 2.0 μg/kg.
Previous studies that investigated the respiratory effects of dexmedetomidine have only been performed in healthy human volunteers, who have received either single intramuscular injections or short (= 10 min) intravenous infusions of dexmedetomidine. It is therefore reassuring that no deleterious clinical effects on respiration and gas exchange were seen in the patients we studied, who were receiving long-term infusions. However, there are important limitations to the present results. No dose/response curve for dexmedetomidine can be formulated from the data, and further investigation is probably ethically difficult to achieve in the spontaneously ventilating intensive care patient. We also have no data on the ventilatory responses to hypercapnia and hypoxia, which would also be difficult to examine practically and ethically. The placebo group received more than twice as much morphine as patients receiving dexmedetomidine infusions after extubation, but there were no differences in respiratory rate or PaCO2 between the groups. We can not therefore determine from this study whether dexmedetomidine has any benefits over morphine from a respiratory perspective.
There were no differences in oxygen saturations between the groups because the administered oxygen concentration was adjusted to maintain satisfactory gas exchange. Interestingly, however, there were statistically significant higher PaO2 : FIO2 ratios in the dexmedetomidine group. This ratio allows for the variation in administered oxygen to patients during the study period, and gives some clinical indication of alveolar gas exchange. However, this variable was not a primary outcome variable for the present study, and may represent a type 1 error, although post hoc analysis reveals that the data have 80% power to detect a significant difference (α value 0.05). Further studies are obviously required.
Sedation continued over the extubation period, has been shown to reduce haemodynamic disturbances and myocardial ischaemia [13]. We have previously shown [1] that dexmedetomidine provides cardiovascular stability, with a reduction in rate-pressure product over the extubation period. A sedative agent that has analgesic properties, minimal effects on respiration and offers ischaemia protection would have enormous potential in the ICU. Dexmedetomidine may fulfill all of these roles, but at present we can only conclude that dexmedetomidine has no deleterious clinical effects on respiration when used in doses that are sufficient to provide adequate sedation and effective analgesia in the surgical population requiring intensive care.
PMCID: PMC29047  PMID: 11056756
α2-Adrenoceptor agonist; analgesia; dexmedetomidine; intensive care; postoperative; respiratory; sedation
11.  Sedative Efficacy of Propofol in Patients Intubated/Ventilated after Coronary Artery Bypass Graft Surgery 
Background:
Sedation after open heart surgery is important in preventing stress on the heart. The unique sedative features of propofol prompted us to evaluate its potential clinical role in the sedation of post-CABG patients.
Objectives:
To compare propofol-based sedation to midazolam-based sedation after coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery in the intensive care unit (ICU).
Patients and Methods:
Fifty patients who were admitted to the ICU after CABG surgery was randomized into two groups to receive sedation with either midazolam or propofol infusions; and additional analgesia was administered if required. Inclusion criteria were as follows: patients 40-60 years old, hemodynamic stability, ejection fraction (EF) more than 40%; exclusion criteria included patients who required intra-aortic balloon pump or inotropic drugs post-bypass. The same protocol of anesthetic medications was used in both groups. Depth of sedation was monitored using the Ramsay sedation score (RSS). Invasive mean arterial pressure (MAP) and heart rate (HR), arterial blood gas (ABG) and ventilatory parameters were monitored continuously after the start of study drug and until the patients were extubated.
Results:
The depth of sedation was almost the same in the two groups (RSS=4.5 in midazolam group vs 4.7 in propofol group; P = 0.259) but the total dose of fentanyl in the midazolam group was significantly more than the propofol group (12.5 mg/hr vs 4 mg/hr) (P = 0.0039). No significant differences were found in MAP (P = 0.51) and HR (P = 0.41) between the groups. The mean extubation time in patients sedated with propofol was shorter than those sedated with midazolam (102 ± 27 min vs 245 ± 42 min, respectively; P < 0.05) but the ICU discharge time was not shorter (47.5 hr vs 36.3 hr, respectively; P = 0.24).
Conclusions:
Propofol provided a safe and acceptable sedation for post-CABG surgical patients, significantly reduced the requirement for analgesics, and allowed for more rapid tracheal extubation than midazolam but did not result in earlier ICU discharge.
doi:10.5812/aapm.17109
PMCID: PMC3961039  PMID: 24660162
Propofol; Analgesics; Coronary Artery Bypass; Deep Sedation; Midazolam; Airway Extubation; Length of Stay
12.  Ketamine, propofol and low dose remifentanil versus propofol and remifentanil for ERCP outside the operating room: Is ketamine not only a “rescue drug”? 
Summary
Background
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography ERCP is a painful and long procedure requiring transient deep analgesia and conscious sedation. An ideal anaesthetic that guarantees a rapid and smooth induction, good quality of maintenance, lack of adverse effects and rapid recovery is still lacking.
This study aimed to compare safety and efficacy of a continuous infusion of low dose remifentanil plus ketamine combined with propofol in comparison to the standard regimen dose of remifentanil plus propofol continuous infusion during ERCP.
Material/Methods
322 ASAI-III patients, 18–85 years old and scheduled for planned ERCP were randomized. Exclusion criteria were a predictable difficult airway, drug allergy, and ASA IV–V patients.
We evaluated Propofol 1 mg/kg/h plus Remifentanil 0.25 μg/kg/min (GR) vs. Propofol 1 mg/kg/h plus Ketamine 5 μg/kg/min and Remifentanil 0.1 μg/kg/min (GK).
Main outcome measures were respiratory depression, nausea/vomiting, quality of intraoperative conditions, and discharge time. P≤0.05 was statistically significant (95% CI).
Results
Respiratory depression was observed in 25 patients in the GR group compared to 9 patients in the GK group (p=0.0035). ERCP was interrupted in 9 cases of GR vs. no cases in GK; patients ventilated without any complication. Mean discharge time was 20±5 min in GK and 35±6 min in GR (p=0.0078) and transfer to the ward delayed because of nausea and vomiting in 30 patients in GR vs. 5 patients in GK (p=0.0024). Quality of intraoperative conditions was rated highly satisfactory in 92% of GK vs. 67% of GR (p=0.028).
Conclusions
The drug combination used in GK confers clinical advantages because it avoids deep sedation, maintains adequate analgesia with conscious sedation, and achieves lower incidence of postprocedural nausea and vomiting with shorter discharge times.
doi:10.12659/MSM.883354
PMCID: PMC3560648  PMID: 22936194
conscious sedation for ERCP; ketamine; sedation outside the operating room
13.  Remifentanil for analgesia-based sedation in the intensive care unit 
Critical Care  2003;8(1):13-14.
Providing effective analgesia and adequate sedation is a generally accepted goal of intensive care medicine. Due to its rapid, organ independent and predictable metabolism the short acting opioid remifentanil might be particularly useful for analgesia-based sedation in the intensive care unit (ICU). This hypothesis was tested by two studies in this issue of Critical Care. The study by Breen et al. shows that remifentanil does not exert prolonged clinical effects when continuously infused in renal failure patients, although the weak acting metabolite remifentanil acid accumulates. The study by Muellejans et al. reports a multicenter trial comparing a remifentanil versus a fentanyl based regimen in ICU patients. With both substances a target analgesia and sedation level was reached, and no major differences were found when frequent assessments of the sedation level and according readjustments of doses were performed. These results are in accordance with other studies suggesting that the adherence to a clear analgesia-based sedation protocol might be more important then the choice of medications itself.
doi:10.1186/cc2421
PMCID: PMC420067  PMID: 14975040
analgesia; sedation; remifentanil; organ failure
14.  Comparison of Propofol-Remifentanil Versus Propofol-Ketamine Deep Sedation for Third Molar Surgery 
Anesthesia Progress  2012;59(3):107-117.
This study aimed to compare continuous intravenous infusion combinations of propofol-remifentanil and propofol-ketamine for deep sedation for surgical extraction of all 4 third molars. In a prospective, randomized, double-blinded controlled study, participants received 1 of 2 sedative combinations for deep sedation for the surgery. Both groups initially received midazolam 0.03 mg/kg for baseline sedation. The control group then received a combination of propofol-remifentanil in a ratio of 10 mg propofol to 5 μg of remifentanil per milliliter, and the experimental group received a combination of propofol-ketamine in a ratio of 10 mg of propofol to 2.5 mg of ketamine per milliliter; both were given at an initial propofol infusion rate of 100 μg/kg/min. Each group received an induction loading bolus of 500 μg/kg of the assigned propofol combination along with the appropriate continuous infusion combination . Measured outcomes included emergence and recovery times, various sedation parameters, hemodynamic and respiratory stability, patient and surgeon satisfaction, postoperative course, and associated drug costs. Thirty-seven participants were enrolled in the study. Both groups demonstrated similar sedation parameters and hemodynamic and respiratory stability; however, the ketamine group had prolonged emergence (13.6 ± 6.6 versus 7.1 ± 3.7 minutes, P = .0009) and recovery (42.9 ± 18.7 versus 24.7 ± 7.6 minutes, P = .0004) times. The prolonged recovery profile of continuously infused propofol-ketamine may limit its effectiveness as an alternative to propofol-remifentanil for deep sedation for third molar extraction and perhaps other short oral surgical procedures, especially in the ambulatory dental setting.
doi:10.2344/12-00001.1
PMCID: PMC3468288  PMID: 23050750
Propofol; Ketamine; Remifentanil; Deep sedation; TIVA
15.  An Economic Evaluation of Propofol and Lorazepam for Critically Ill Patients Undergoing Mechanical Ventilation 
Critical care medicine  2008;36(3):706-714.
Objective
The economic implications of sedative choice in the management of patients receiving mechanical ventilation are unclear because of differences in costs and clinical outcomes associated with specific sedatives. Therefore, we aimed to determine the cost-effectiveness of the most commonly used sedatives prescribed for mechanically ventilated critically ill patients.
Design, Setting, and Patients
Adopting the perspective of a hospital, we developed a probabilistic decision model to determine if continuous propofol or intermittent lorazepam was associated with greater value when combined with daily awakenings. We also evaluated the comparative value of continuous midazolam in secondary analyses. We assumed that patients were managed in a medical intensive care unit and expected to require ventilation for at least 48 hours. Model inputs were derived from primary analysis of randomized controlled trial data, medical literature, Medicare reimbursement rates, pharmacy databases, and institutional data.
Main Results
We measured cost-effectiveness as costs per mechanical ventilator-free day within the first 28 days after intubation. Our base-case probabilistic analysis demonstrated that propofol dominated lorazepam in 91% of simulations and, on average, was both $6,378 less costly per patient and associated with over three additional mechanical ventilator-free days. The model did not reveal clinically meaningful differences between propofol and midazolam on costs or measures of effectiveness.
Conclusion
Propofol has superior value compared to lorazepam when used for sedation among the critically ill who require mechanical ventilation when used in the setting of daily sedative interruption.
doi:10.1097/CCM.0B013E3181544248
PMCID: PMC2763279  PMID: 18176312
cost-effectiveness; cost-benefit analysis (MeSH); critical illness (MeSH); respiration; artificial (MeSH)
16.  Remifentanil discontinuation and subsequent intensive care unit-acquired infection: a cohort study 
Critical Care  2009;13(2):R60.
Introduction
Recent animal studies demonstrated immunosuppressive effects of opioid withdrawal resulting in a higher risk of infection. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of remifentanil discontinuation on intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired infection.
Methods
This was a prospective observational cohort study performed in a 30-bed medical and surgical university ICU, during a one-year period. All patients hospitalised in the ICU for more than 48 hours were eligible. Sedation was based on a written protocol including remifentanil with or without midazolam. Ramsay score was used to evaluate consciousness. The bedside nurse adjusted sedative infusion to obtain the target Ramsay score. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to determine risk factors for ICU-acquired infection.
Results
Five hundred and eighty-seven consecutive patients were included in the study. A microbiologically confirmed ICU-acquired infection was diagnosed in 233 (39%) patients. Incidence rate of ICU-acquired infection was 38 per 1000 ICU-days. Ventilator-associated pneumonia was the most frequently diagnosed ICU-acquired infection (23% of study patients). Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the most frequently isolated microorganism (30%). Multivariate analysis identified remifentanil discontinuation (odds ratio (OR) = 2.53, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.28 to 4.99, P = 0.007), simplified acute physiology score II at ICU admission (1.01 per point, 95% CI = 1 to 1.03, P = 0.011), mechanical ventilation (4.49, 95% CI = 1.52 to 13.2, P = 0.006), tracheostomy (2.25, 95% CI = 1.13 to 4.48, P = 0.021), central venous catheter (2.9, 95% CI = 1.08 to 7.74, P = 0.033) and length of hospital stay (1.05 per day, 95% CI = 1.03 to 1.08, P < 0.001) as independent risk factors for ICU-acquired infection.
Conclusions
Remifentanil discontinuation is independently associated with ICU-acquired infection.
doi:10.1186/cc7788
PMCID: PMC2689508  PMID: 19383164
17.  Prevalence and impact of alcohol and other drug use disorders on sedation and mechanical ventilation: a retrospective study 
BMC Anesthesiology  2007;7:3.
Background
Experience suggests that patients with alcohol and other drug use disorders (AOD) are commonly cared for in our intensive care units (ICU's) and require more sedation. We sought to determine the impact of AOD on sedation requirement and mechanical ventilation (MV) duration.
Methods
Retrospective review of randomly selected records of adult patients undergoing MV in the medical ICU. Diagnoses of AOD were identified using strict criteria in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and through review of medical records and toxicology results.
Results
Of the 70 MV patients reviewed, 27 had AOD (39%). Implicated substances were alcohol in 22 patients, cocaine in 5, heroin in 2, opioids in 2, marijuana in 2. There was no difference between AOD and non-AOD patients in age, race, or reason for MV, but patients with AOD were more likely to be male (21 versus 15, p < 0.0001) and had a lower mean Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (22 versus 26, p = 0.048). While AOD patients received more lorazepam equivalents (0.5 versus 0.2 mg/kg.day, p = 0.004), morphine equivalents (0.5 versus 0.1 mg/kg.day, p = 0.03) and longer duration of infusions (16 versus 10 hours/day. medication, p = 0.002), they had similar sedation levels (Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale (RASS) -2 versus -2, p = 0.83), incidence of agitation (RASS ≥ 3: 3.0% versus 2.4% of observations, p = 0.33), and duration of MV (3.6 versus 3.9 days, p = 0.89) as those without AOD.
Conclusion
The prevalence of AOD among medical ICU patients undergoing MV is high. Patients with AOD receive higher doses of sedation than their non-AOD counterparts to achieve similar RASS scores but do not undergo longer duration of MV.
doi:10.1186/1471-2253-7-3
PMCID: PMC1838409  PMID: 17359534
18.  The dexmedetomidine concentration required after remifentanil anesthesia is three-fold higher than that after fentanyl anesthesia or that for general sedation in the ICU 
Purpose
The general dexmedetomidine (DEX) concentration required for sedation of intensive care unit patients is considered to be approximately 0.7 ng/mL. However, higher DEX concentrations are considered to be required for sedation and/or pain management after major surgery using remifentanil. We determined the DEX concentration required after major surgery by using a target-controlled infusion (TCI) system for DEX.
Methods
Fourteen patients undergoing surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) were randomly, double-blindly assigned to two groups and underwent fentanyl- or remifentanil-based anesthetic management. DEX TCI was started at the time of closing the peritoneum and continued for 12 hours after stopping propofol administration (M0); DEX TCI was adjusted according to the sedation score and complaints of pain. The doses and concentrations of all anesthetics and postoperative conditions were investigated.
Results
Throughout the observation period, the predicted plasma concentration of DEX in the fentanyl group was stable at approximately 0.7 ng/mL. In contrast, the predicted plasma concentration of DEX in the remifentanil group rapidly increased and stabilized at approximately 2 ng/mL. The actual DEX concentration at 540 minutes after M0 showed a similar trend (0.54±0.14 [fentanyl] versus 1.57±0.39 ng/mL [remifentanil]). In the remifentanil group, the dopamine dose required and the duration of intubation decreased, and urine output increased; however, no other outcomes improved.
Conclusion
The DEX concentration required after AAA surgery with remifentanil was three-fold higher than that required after AAA surgery with fentanyl or the conventional DEX concentration for sedation. High DEX concentration after remifentanil affords some benefits in anesthetic management.
doi:10.2147/TCRM.S67211
PMCID: PMC4199560  PMID: 25328395
plasma concentration; effect-site concentration (ESC); target-controlled infusion (TCI); abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA); dopamine; urine output
19.  Remifentanil patient controlled analgesia versus epidural analgesia in labour. A multicentre randomized controlled trial 
Background
Pain relief during labour is a topic of major interest in the Netherlands. Epidural analgesia is considered to be the most effective method of pain relief and recommended as first choice. However its uptake by pregnant women is limited compared to other western countries, partly as a result of non-availability due to logistic problems. Remifentanil, a synthetic opioid, is very suitable for patient controlled analgesia. Recent studies show that epidural analgesia is superior to remifentanil patient controlled analgesia in terms of pain intensity score; however there was no difference in satisfaction with pain relief between both treatments.
Methods/design
The proposed study is a multicentre randomized controlled study that assesses the cost-effectiveness of remifentanil patient controlled analgesia compared to epidural analgesia. We hypothesize that remifentanil patient controlled analgesia is as effective in improving pain appreciation scores as epidural analgesia, with lower costs and easier achievement of 24 hours availability of pain relief for women in labour and efficient pain relief for those with a contraindication for epidural analgesia.
Eligible women will be informed about the study and randomized before active labour has started. Women will be randomly allocated to a strategy based on epidural analgesia or on remifentanil patient controlled analgesia when they request pain relief during labour. Primary outcome is the pain appreciation score, i.e. satisfaction with pain relief.
Secondary outcome parameters are costs, patient satisfaction, pain scores (pain-intensity), mode of delivery and maternal and neonatal side effects.
The economic analysis will be performed from a short-term healthcare perspective. For both strategies the cost of perinatal care for mother and child, starting at the onset of labour and ending ten days after delivery, will be registered and compared.
Discussion
This study, considering cost effectiveness of remifentanil as first choice analgesia versus epidural analgesia, could strongly improve the care for 180.000 women, giving birth in the Netherlands yearly by giving them access to pain relief during labour, 24 hours a day.
Trial registration number
Dutch Trial Register NTR2551, http://www.trialregister.nl
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-12-63
PMCID: PMC3464937  PMID: 22748068
Analgesia; Labour; Remifentanil; Patient controlled analgesia; Epidural
20.  Intensive care unit delirium is an independent predictor of longer hospital stay: a prospective analysis of 261 non-ventilated patients 
Critical Care  2005;9(4):R375-R381.
Introduction
Delirium occurs in most ventilated patients and is independently associated with more deaths, longer stay, and higher cost. Guidelines recommend monitoring of delirium in all intensive care unit (ICU) patients, though few data exist in non-ventilated patients. The study objective was to determine the relationship between delirium and outcomes among non-ventilated ICU patients.
Method
A prospective cohort investigation of 261 consecutively admitted medical ICU patients not requiring invasive mechanical ventilation during hospitalization at a tertiary-care, university-based hospital between February 2002 and January 2003. ICU nursing staff assessed delirium and level of consciousness at least twice per day using the Confusion Assessment Method for the ICU (CAM-ICU) and Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale (RASS). Cox regression with time-varying covariates was used to determine the independent relationship between delirium and clinical outcomes.
Results
Of 261 patients, 125 (48%) experienced at least one episode of delirium. Patients who experienced delirium were older (mean ± SD: 56 ± 18 versus 49 ± 17 years; p = 0.002) and more severely ill as measured by Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II (APACHE II) scores (median 15, interquartile range (IQR) 10–21 versus 11, IQR 6–16; p < 0.001) compared to their non-delirious counterparts. Patients who experienced delirium had a 29% greater risk of remaining in the ICU on any given day (compared to patients who never developed delirium) even after adjusting for age, gender, race, Charlson co-morbidity score, APACHE II score, and coma (hazard ratio (HR) 1.29; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.98–1.69, p = 0.07). Similarly, patients who experienced delirium had a 41% greater risk of remaining in the hospital after adjusting for the same covariates (HR 1.41; 95% CI 1.05–1.89, p = 0.023). Hospital mortality was higher among patients who developed delirium (24/125, 19%) versus patients who never developed delirium (8/135, 6%), p = 0.002; however, time to in-hospital death was not significant the adjusted (HR 1.27; 95% CI 0.55–2.98, p = 0.58).
Conclusion
Delirium occurred in nearly half of the non-ventilated ICU patients in this cohort. Even after adjustment for relevant covariates, delirium was found to be an independent predictor of longer hospital stay.
doi:10.1186/cc3729
PMCID: PMC1269454  PMID: 16137350
21.  Daily sedative interruption versus intermittent sedation in mechanically ventilated critically ill patients: a randomized trial 
Background
Daily sedative interruption and intermittent sedation are effective in abbreviating the time on mechanical ventilation. Whether one is superior to the other has not yet been determined. Our aim was to compare daily interruption and intermittent sedation during the mechanical ventilation period in a low nurse staffing ICU.
Methods
Adult patients expected to need mechanical ventilation for more than 24 hours were randomly assigned, in a single center, either to daily interruption of continuous sedative and opioid infusion or to intermittent sedation. In both cases, our goal was to maintain a Sedation Agitation Scale (SAS) level of 3 or 4; that is patients should be calm, easily arousable or awakened with verbal stimuli or gentle shaking. Primary outcome was ventilator-free days in 28 days. Secondary outcomes were ICU and hospital mortality, incidence of delirium, nurse workload, self-extubation and psychological distress six months after ICU discharge.
Results
A total of 60 patients were included. There were no differences in the ventilator-free days in 28 days between daily interruption and intermittent sedation (median: 24 versus 25 days, P = 0.160). There were also no differences in ICU mortality (40 versus 23.3%, P = 0.165), hospital mortality (43.3 versus 30%, P = 0.284), incidence of delirium (30 versus 40%, P = 0.472), self-extubation (3.3 versus 6.7%, P = 0.514), and psychological stress six months after ICU discharge. Also, the nurse workload was not different between groups, but it was reduced on day 5 compared to day 1 in both groups (Nurse Activity Score (NAS) in the intermittent sedation group was 54 on day 1 versus 39 on day 5, P < 0.001; NAS in daily interruption group was 53 on day 1 versus 38 on day 5, P < 0.001). Fentanyl and midazolam total dosages per patient were higher in the daily interruption group. The tidal volume was higher in the intermittent sedation group during the first five days of ICU stay.
Conclusions
There was no difference in the number of ventilator-free days in 28 days between both groups. Intermittent sedation was associated with lower sedative and opioid doses.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00824239.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-4-14
PMCID: PMC4026117  PMID: 24900938
Sedation; Mechanical ventilation; Conscious sedation; Critical care and outcome assessment
22.  Sedation depth and long-term mortality in mechanically ventilated critically ill adults: a prospective longitudinal multicentre cohort study 
Intensive Care Medicine  2013;39(5):910-918.
Purpose
To ascertain the relationship among early (first 48 h) deep sedation, time to extubation, delirium and long-term mortality.
Methods
We conducted a multicentre prospective longitudinal cohort study in 11 Malaysian hospitals including medical/surgical patients (n = 259) who were sedated and ventilated ≥24 h. Patients were followed from ICU admission up to 28 days in ICU with 4-hourly sedation and daily delirium assessments and 180-day mortality. Deep sedation was defined as Richmond Agitation Sedation Score (RASS) ≤−3.
Results
The cohort had a mean (SD) age of 53.1 (15.9) years and APACHE II score of 21.3 (8.2) with hospital and 180-day mortality of 82 (31.7 %) and 110/237 (46.4 %). Patients were followed for 2,657 ICU days and underwent 13,836 RASS assessments. Midazolam prescription was predominant compared to propofol, given to 241 (93 %) versus 72 (28 %) patients (P < 0.0001) for 966 (39.6 %) versus 183 (7.5 %) study days respectively. Deep sedation occurred in (182/257) 71 % patients at first assessment and in 159 (61 %) patients and 1,658 (59 %) of all RASS assessments at 48 h. Multivariable Cox proportional hazard regression analysis adjusting for a priori assigned covariates including sedative agents, diagnosis, age, APACHE II score, operative, elective, vasopressors and dialysis showed that early deep sedation was independently associated with longer time to extubation [hazard ratio (HR) 0.93, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 0.89–0.97, P = 0.003], hospital death (HR 1.11, 95 % CI 1.05–1.18, P < 0.001) and 180-day mortality (HR 1.09, 95 % CI 1.04–1.15, P = 0.002), but not time to delirium (HR 0.98, P = 0.23). Delirium occurred in 114 (44 %) of patients.
Conclusion
Irrespective of sedative choice, early deep sedation was independently associated with delayed extubation and higher mortality, and thus was a potentially modifiable risk in interventional trials.
doi:10.1007/s00134-013-2830-2
PMCID: PMC3625407  PMID: 23344834
Sedation depth; Mechanical ventilation; Delirium; Critically ill; Mortality
23.  Early sedation and clinical outcomes of mechanically ventilated patients: a prospective multicenter cohort study 
Critical Care  2014;18(4):R156.
Introduction
Sedation overuse is frequent and possibly associated with poor outcomes in the intensive care unit (ICU) patients. However, the association of early oversedation with clinical outcomes has not been thoroughly evaluated. The aim of this study was to assess the association of early sedation strategies with outcomes of critically ill adult patients under mechanical ventilation (MV).
Methods
A secondary analysis of a multicenter prospective cohort conducted in 45 Brazilian ICUs, including adult patients requiring ventilatory support and sedation in the first 48 hours of ICU admissions, was performed. Sedation depth was evaluated after 48 hours of MV. Multivariate analysis was used to identify variables associated with hospital mortality.
Results
A total of 322 patients were evaluated. Overall, ICU and hospital mortality rates were 30.4% and 38.8%, respectively. Deep sedation was observed in 113 patients (35.1%). Longer duration of ventilatory support was observed (7 (4 to 10) versus 5 (3 to 9) days, P = 0.041) and more tracheostomies were performed in the deep sedation group (38.9% versus 22%, P = 0.001) despite similar PaO2/FiO2 ratios and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) severity. In a multivariate analysis, age (Odds Ratio (OR) 1.02; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00 to 1.03), Charlson Comorbidity Index >2 (OR 2.06; 95% CI, 1.44 to 2.94), Simplified Acute Physiology Score 3 (SAPS 3) score (OR 1.02; CI 95%, 1.00 to 1.04), severe ARDS (OR 1.44; CI 95%, 1.09 to 1.91) and deep sedation (OR 2.36; CI 95%, 1.31 to 4.25) were independently associated with increased hospital mortality.
Conclusions
Early deep sedation is associated with adverse outcomes and constitutes an independent predictor of hospital mortality in mechanically ventilated patients.
doi:10.1186/cc13995
PMCID: PMC4223597  PMID: 25047960
24.  The comparison of sedation quality, side effect and recovery profiles on different dosage of remifentanil patient-controlled sedation during breast biopsy surgery 
Korean Journal of Anesthesiology  2012;63(5):431-435.
Background
The patient-controlled sedation (PCS) allows for rapid individualized titration of sedative drugs. Propofol has been the most widely used IV adjuvant, during the monitored anesthesia care (MAC). This study was designed to compare the sedation quality, side effect and recovery of the propofol alone, and propofol-remifentanil combination, using PCS for breast biopsy.
Methods
Seventy five outpatients, undergoing breast biopsy procedures with local anesthesia, were randomly assigned to receive propofol alone (group P), propofol-25 ug/ml of remifentanil (group PR25), and propofol-50 ug/ml of remifentanil (group PR50), using PCS. Pain visual analogue scores (VAS) and digit symbol substitution test (DSST), Vital signs, bi-spectral index (BIS) and observer assessment of alertness and sedation (OAA/S) score were recorded.
Results
Apply/Demand ratio in the group PR50 had a significant increase over the other groups (P < 0.05). The incidence of excessive sedation and dizziness were significantly more frequent in the group PR50 (P < 0.05). BIS and OAA/S score significantly decreased in the group PR25, PR50 at 15 min after the operation, the end of surgery (P < 0.05). At 5 min after the start of PCS, patients in the group PR25 and PR50 gave significantly less correct responses on the DSST than that of the group P (P < 0.05).
Conclusions
Compared with the propofol alone, intermittent bolus injection of propofol-remifentanil mixture could be used, appropriately, for the sedation and analgesia during MAC. The group PR25 in a low dose of remifentanil has more advantages in terms of sedation and satisfaction because of the group PR50's side effects.
doi:10.4097/kjae.2012.63.5.431
PMCID: PMC3506853  PMID: 23198037
Monitored anesthesia care; Patient-controlled sedation; Propofol; Remifentanil
25.  Evaluation of a minimal sedation protocol using ICU sedative consumption as a monitoring tool: a quality improvement multicenter project 
Critical Care  2014;18(5):580.
Introduction
Oversedation frequently occurs in ICUs. We aimed to evaluate a minimal sedation policy, using sedative consumption as a monitoring tool, in a network of ICUs targeting decrement of oversedation and mechanical ventilation (MV) duration.
Methods
A prospective quality improvement project was conducted in ten ICUs within a network of nonteaching hospitals in Brazil during a 2-year period (2010 to 2012). In the first 12 months (the preintervention period), we conducted an audit to identify sedation practice and barriers to current guideline-based practice regarding sedation. In the postintervention period, we implemented a multifaceted program, including multidisciplinary daily rounds, and monthly audits focusing on sedative consumption, feedback and benchmarking purposes. To analyze the effect of the campaign, we fit an interrupted time series (ITS). To account for variability among the network ICUs, we fit a hierarchical model.
Results
During the study period, 21% of patients received MV (4,851/22,963). In the postintervention period, the length of MV was lower (3.91 ± 6.2 days versus 3.15 ± 4.6 days; mean difference, −0.76 (95% CI, −1.10; −0.43), P <0.001) and 28 ventilator-free days were higher (16.07 ± 12.2 days versus 18.33 ± 11.6 days; mean difference, 2.30 (95% CI, 1.57; 3.00), P <0.001) than in the preintervention period. Midazolam consumption (in milligrams per day of MV) decreased from 329 ± 70 mg/day to 163 ± 115 mg/day (mean difference, −167 (95% CI, −246; −87), P <0.001). In contrast, consumption of propofol (P = 0.007), dexmedetomidine (P = 0.017) and haloperidol (P = 0.002) increased in the postintervention period, without changes in the consumption of fentanyl. Through ITS, age (P = 0.574) and Simplified Acute Physiology Score III (P = 0.176) remained stable. The length of MV showed a secular effect (secular trend β1 = −0.055, P = 0.012) and a strong decrease immediately after the intervention (intervention β2 = −0.976, P <0.001). The impact was maintained over the course of one year, despite the waning trend for the intervention’s effect (postintervention trend β3 = 0.039, P = 0.095).
Conclusions
By using a light sedation policy in a group of nonteaching hospitals, we reproduced the benefits that have previously been demonstrated in controlled settings. Furthermore, systematic monitoring of sedative consumption should be a feasible instrument for supporting the implementation of a protocol on a large scale.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0580-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s13054-014-0580-3
PMCID: PMC4234844

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