Patterns of Sedation Weaning in Critically Ill Children Recovering From Acute Respiratory Failure. (Coleman)

Best KM, et al. Patterns of Sedation Weaning in Critically Ill Children Recovering From Acute Respiratory Failure. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2016 Jan;17(1):19-29.

OBJECTIVE: To characterize sedation weaning patterns in typical practice settings among children recovering from critical illness.

DESIGN: A descriptive secondary analysis of data that were prospectively collected during the prerandomization phase (January to July 2009) of a clinical trial of sedation management.

SETTING: Twenty-two PICUs across the United States.

PATIENTS: The sample included 145 patients, aged 2 weeks to 17 years, mechanically ventilated for acute respiratory failure who received at least five consecutive days of opioid exposure.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Group comparisons were made between patients with an intermittent weaning pattern, defined as a 20% or greater increase in daily opioid dose after the start of weaning, and the remaining patients defined as having a steady weaning pattern. Demographic and clinical characteristics, tolerance to sedatives, and iatrogenic withdrawal symptoms were evaluated. Sixty-six patients (46%) were intermittently weaned; 79 patients were steadily weaned. Prior to weaning, intermittently weaned patients received higher peak and cumulative doses and longer exposures to opioids and benzodiazepines, demonstrated more sedative tolerance (58% vs 41%), and received more chloral hydrate and barbiturates compared with steadily weaned patients. During weaning, intermittently weaned patients assessed for withdrawal had a higher incidence of Withdrawal Assessment Tool-version 1 scores of greater than or equal to 3 (85% vs 46%) and received more sedative classes compared with steadily weaned patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This study characterizes sedative administration practices for pediatric patients prior to and during weaning from sedation after critical illness. It provides a novel methodology for describing weaning in an at-risk pediatric population that may be helpful in future research on weaning strategies to prevent iatrogenic withdrawal syndrome.

Racemic adrenaline and inhalation strategies in acute bronchiolitis. (Kamat)

N Engl J Med. 2013 Jun 13;368(24):2286-93. PMID: 23758233

BACKGROUND: Acute bronchiolitis in infants frequently results in hospitalization, but there is no established consensus on inhalation therapy–either the type of medication or the frequency of administration–that may be of value. We aimed to assess the effectiveness of inhaled racemic adrenaline as compared with inhaled saline and the strategy for frequency of inhalation (on demand vs. fixed schedule) in infants hospitalized with acute bronchiolitis.

METHODS: In this eight-center, randomized, double-blind trial with a 2-by-2 factorial design, we compared inhaled racemic adrenaline with inhaled saline and on-demand inhalation with fixed-schedule inhalation (up to every 2 hours) in infants (<12 months of age) with moderate-to-severe acute bronchiolitis. An overall clinical score of 4 or higher (on a scale of 0 to 10, with higher scores indicating more severe illness) was required for study inclusion. Any use of oxygen therapy, nasogastric-tube feeding, or ventilatory support was recorded. The primary outcome was the length of the hospital stay, with analyses conducted according to the intention-to-treat principle.

RESULTS: The mean age of the 404 infants included in the study was 4.2 months, and 59.4% were boys. Length of stay, use of oxygen supplementation, nasogastric-tube feeding, ventilatory support, and relative improvement in the clinical score from baseline (preinhalation) were similar in the infants treated with inhaled racemic adrenaline and those treated with inhaled saline (P>0.1 for all comparisons). On-demand inhalation, as compared with fixed-schedule inhalation, was associated with a significantly shorter estimated mean length of stay–47.6 hours (95% confidence interval [CI], 30.6 to 64.6) versus 61.3 hours (95% CI, 45.4 to 77.2; P=0.01) – as well as less use of oxygen supplementation (in 38.3% of infants vs. 48.7%, P=0.04), less use of ventilatory support (in 4.0% vs. 10.8%, P=0.01), and fewer inhalation treatments (12.0 vs. 17.0, P<0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: In the treatment of acute bronchiolitis in infants, inhaled racemic adrenaline is not more effective than inhaled saline. However, the strategy of inhalation on demand appears to be superior to that of inhalation on a fixed schedule. (Funded by Medicines for Children; number, NCT00817466; EudraCT number, 2009-012667-34.).

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