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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094On-line version ISSN 1806-907X


RODRIGUES JUNIOR, Geraldo Rolim  and  AMARAL, José Luiz Gomes do. Clinical experience with sedatives in the intensive care unit: a retrospective study. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2002, vol.52, n.6, pp.747-755. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Among the most frequent indications for Intensive Care Unit patients sedation, one may mention artificial ventilation installation and maintenance, anxiety and uncomfortable or painful procedures. This retrospective study aimed at evaluating most common sedation indications and techniques for severe patients admitted to the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM/UNIFESP) during an 11-month period. METHODS: After excluding patients remaining in the ICU for less than 24 hours and those without the necessary evaluation to determine their severity index (APACHE II), the sample was reduced to 307 patients. Most common techniques, sedation indications and neuromuscular blockers association were evaluated. RESULTS: Sedation was administered to 37.4% of patients. Psychiatric disorders, such as delirium, agitation, fear and anxiety, were some indications for sedation and corresponded to 25.77% of all indications. Most ventilated patients also needed sedative agents and mechanical ventilation installation and maintenance represented most indications, or approximately 57.73% of all sedated patients. Procedures, such as tracheal intubation and bronchoscopy, represented 11.34% of all indications and metabolic control (barbiturate coma and tetanus) represented 5.15% of the cases. Most common sedative techniques included opioids alone or associated to benzodiazepines. In this study, fentanyl alone was used in 58% of the cases, and fentanyl plus midazolam in 21.64% of patients. Haloperidol, diazepam, propofol and thiopental added up 19.5%. Neuromuscular blockers were used in 22.7% of mechanically in ventilated patients. CONCLUSIONS: Sedation is a common therapeutic resource for intensive care and is widely used to help mechanical ventilation and to treat psychiatric disorders. Fentanyl, alone or in association with midazolam, was the most widely used agent.


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