Current practice and perceptions regarding pain, agitation and delirium management in patients receiving venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Research paper by Amy L AL Dzierba, Darryl D Abrams, Purnema P Madahar, Justin J Muir, Cara C Agerstrand, Daniel D Brodie

Indexed on: 25 Feb '20Published on: 16 Jun '19Published in: Journal of Critical Care


To characterize monitoring of pain, agitation, and delirium; investigate opioid and sedative choices; and describe prevention and treatment of delirium in adults receiving venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (vv-ECMO) for respiratory failure. International, cross-sectional survey distributed January 2018 to members of the Society of Critical Care Medicine. Respondents were predominately physicians (58%) from North America (89%). Fentanyl (77%) and hydromorphone (48%) were the most common intravenous opioids used to manage pain. A deep level of sedation was targeted in the first 24-h after initiation of vv-ECMO 64% of the time. When deep sedation was targeted, propofol (70%) and benzodiazepines (41%) were the most common sedatives. The most common sedatives for light sedation were dexmedetomidine (45%) and propofol (39%). Delirium prevention included avoidance of benzodiazepines (73%), whereas the most common treatment strategy was scheduled atypical antipsychotics (83%). Centers that extubated patients during vv-ECMO used dexmedetomidine as the second preferred sedative as compared to benzodiazepines at non-extubating centers (p = 0.04). Most respondents use validated scales and protocols to assess and manage pain, agitation/sedation, and delirium. The majority of respondents reported targeting a deep level of sedation with propofol being used for both deep and light levels of sedation. Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.