Sedation in paediatric intensive care


Paediatric intensive care is an expanding specialty that has been shown to improve the quality of care provided to critically ill children. An important aspect of the management of critically ill children includes the provision of effective sedation to reduce stress and anxiety during their stay in intensive care. However, to achieve effective and safe sedation in these children, is recognised as a challenge that is not without risk. Often children receive too much or too little sedation resulting in over sedation or under sedation respectively. These problems have arisen owing to a lack of information regarding altered pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medicines administered to critically ill children. In addition there are few validated sedation scoring systems in practice with which to monitor level of sedation and titrate medication appropriately. This study consisted of two stages. Stage 1 investigated the reproducibility and practicality of two observational sedation assessment scales for use in critically ill children. The two scales were different in design, the first being simple in design requiring a single assessment of the patient. The second was more complex in design requiring assessment of five patient parameters to obtain an overall sedation score. Both scales were found to achieve good reproducibility (kappa values 0.50 and 0.62 respectively). Practicality of each sedation scale was undertaken by obtaining nursing staff opinion about both scales using questionnaire and interview technique. It was established that nursing staff preferred the second, more complex sedation scale mainly because it was perceived to give a more accurate assessment of level of sedation and anxiety rather than merely level of sedation. Stage 2 investigated the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of midazolam in critically ill children. 52 children, aged between 0 and 18 years were recruited to the study and 303 blood samples taken to analyse midazolam and its metabolites, I-hydroxyrnidazolam (I-OR) and 4-hydroxymidazolam (4-0H). Analysis of plasma was undertaken using high performance liquid chromatography. A significant correlation was found between midazolam plasma concentration and sedative effect (r=0.598, p=O.OI). It was found that a midazolam plasma concentration of 223ng/ml (±31.9) achieved a satisfactory level of sedation. Only a poor correlation was found between dose of midazolam and plasma concentration of midazolam. Similarly only a poor correlation was found between sedative effect and dose of midazolam. Clearance of midazolam was found to be 6.3mllkglmin (±0.36), which is lower than that reported in healthy children (9.Il-13.3mllkg/min). Age related differences in midazolam clearance were observed in the study. Neonates produced the lowest clearance values (l.63mllkg/min), compared to children aged 1 to 12 months (8.52mllkg/min) who achieved the highest clearance values. Clearance was found to decrease after the age of 12 months to values of 5.34mllkglmin in children aged 7 years and above. Patients with renal (n=5) and liver impairment (n~4) were found to have reduced midazolam clearance (1.37 and 0.74ml/kg/min respectively). Plasma concentrations of I-OH and 4-0H ranged from 0-5 1 89nglml and 0-27 Inglml respectively. All children were found to be capable of producing both metabolites irrespective of age, although no trend was established between age and extent of production of either metabolite. Disease state was found to affect production of l-OH. Patients with renal impairment (n=5) produced the lowest I-OH midazolam plasma ratio (0.059) compared to patients with head injury (0.858). Patients with severe liver impairment were found to be capable of manufacturing both metabolites despite having a severely damaged liver.

Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
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Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: critically ill children,sedation assessment,midazolam pharmacokinetics,pharmacodynamics
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 08:34
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 13:19
Completed Date: 2002
Authors: Whitfield, Karen M.


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