Routine administration of large amounts of pain and sedative medication is common to critically ill pediatric patients undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for cardiopulmonary failure. It has been our experience that pediatric patients are the most difficult age group in which to achieve an ideal pain and sedative control due to the narrow margin of safety. The purpose of this study was to determine the general practice guideline used for pain and anxiolytic pharmacotherapy for pediatric patients at ECMO centers. We sent a survey questionnaire to all ECMO centers in the USA that treat pediatric respiratory failure patients. Of the 46 responding centers (including telephone follow-ups), 37 (80%) centers had an active pediatric ECMO programs for patients with severe respiratory failure. Fentanyl was the most commonly used pain medication and continuous infusion, administered directly to the patient, was preferred. Subjective effectiveness of various pharmacological agents was variable without clear consensus; however, midazolam was considered to be the most effective agent used.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Safety Research
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Advanced and Specialized Nursing