Optimal sedation in pediatric intensive care patients: a systematic review

Intensive Care, Erasmus MC, Sophia Children's Hospital, Dr. Molewaterplein 60, 3015 GJ, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, .
European Journal of Intensive Care Medicine (Impact Factor: 5.54). 06/2013; 39(9). DOI: 10.1007/s00134-013-2971-3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT PURPOSE: Sedatives administered to critically ill children should be titrated to effect, because both under- and oversedation may have negative effects. We conducted a systematic review to examine reported incidences of under-, optimal, and oversedation in critically ill children receiving intensive care. METHODS: A systematic literature search using predefined criteria was performed in PubMed and Embase to identify all articles evaluating level of sedation in PICU patients receiving continuous sedation. Two authors independently recorded: study objective, study design, sample size, age range, details of study intervention (if applicable), sedatives used, length of sedation, sedation scale used, and incidences of optimal, under-, and oversedation as defined in the studies. RESULTS: Twenty-five studies were included. Two studies evaluated sedation level as primary study outcome; the other 23 as secondary outcomes. Together, these studies investigated 1,163 children; age range, 0-18 years. Across studies, children received many different sedative agents and sedation level was assessed with 12 different sedation scales. Optimal sedation was ascertained in 57.6 % of the observations, under sedation in 10.6 %, and oversedation in 31.8 %. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that sedation in the PICU is often suboptimal and seldom systematically evaluated. Oversedation is more common than undersedation. As oversedation may lead to longer hospitalization, tolerance, and withdrawal, preventing oversedation in pediatric intensive care deserves greater attention.

  • Critical Care Medicine 07/2014; 42(7):1724-1725. DOI:10.1097/CCM.0000000000000367 · 6.15 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background The COMFORT behaviour scale (COMFORT-B scale) is widely used in paediatric intensive care units to assess young children's pain and distress. It is also used to assess the impact of treatment interventions, but little is known on the scale's sensitivity to detect changes between before and after measurements following an intervention. This study explored the sensitivity to change of the COMFORT-B scale.MethodsCOMFORT-B scores, originally and prospectively collected as part of standard care, were retrieved from the digital patient data management system. We analysed scores obtained in 747 paired observations, i.e., before and after a pharmacological intervention in 180 paediatric intensive care patients between September 2009 and September 2010.ResultsThe mean scores before and after an intervention were 20.0 [standard deviation (SD) 3.7] and 14.1 (SD 4.7), respectively. Multilevel regression analysis showed a 6-point mean decline after an intervention (p < 0.0001). The magnitude of this decline was not statistically significantly related to number and type of interventions or time between assessments. In almost three-quarters of cases (74%), the COMFORT-B score dropped to below 17 after a pharmacological intervention, indicating good responsiveness.Conclusions This is the first study demonstrating that the COMFORT-B scale detects treatment-related changes in pain or distress intensity. This implies that COMFORT-B assessments can effectively guide analgesic and sedation treatment in critically ill children.
    European journal of pain (London, England) 08/2014; 19(4). DOI:10.1002/ejp.569 · 3.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Critical illness and treatment modalities change pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medications used in critically ill children, in addition to age-related changes in drug disposition and effect. Hence, to ensure effective and safe drug therapy, research in this population is urgently needed. However, conducting research in the vulnerable population of the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) presents with ethical challenges. This article addresses the main ethical issues specific to drug research in these critically ill children and proposes several solutions. The extraordinary environment of the PICU raises specific challenges to the design and conduct of research. The need for proxy consent of parents (or legal guardians) and the stress-inducing physical environment may threaten informed consent. The informed consent process is challenging because emergency research reduces or even eliminates the time to seek consent. Moreover, parental anxiety may impede adequate understanding and generate misconceptions. Alternative forms of consent have been developed taking into account the unpredictable reality of the acute critical care environment. As with any research in children, the burden and risk should be minimized. Recent developments in sample collection and analysis as well as pharmacokinetic analysis should be considered in the design of studies. Despite the difficulties inherent to drug research in critically ill children, methods are available to conduct ethically sound research resulting in relevant and generalizable data. This should motivate the PICU community to commit to drug research to ultimately provide the right drug at the right dose for every individual child.
    Paediatric Drugs 10/2014; 17(1). DOI:10.1007/s40272-014-0101-5 · 1.72 Impact Factor


Available from
May 30, 2014