Analgosedation is a fundamental part of traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatment guidelines, encompassing both first and second tier supportive strategies. Worldwide analgosedation practices continue to be heterogeneous due to the low level of evidence in treatment guidelines (level III) and the choice of analgosedative drugs is made by the treating clinician. Current practice is thus empirical and may result in unfavourable (often hemodynamic) side effects. This article presents an overview of current analgosedation practices in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and addresses pitfalls both in the short and long term. We discuss innovative (pre-)clinical research that can provide the framework for initiatives to improve our pharmacological understanding of analgesic and sedative drugs used in paediatric severe TBI and ultimately facilitate steps towards evidence-based and precision pharmacotherapy in this vulnerable patient group.

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Child's Nervous System
Department of Pediatrics

Ketharanathan, N., Yamamoto, Y. (Y.), Rohlwink, U. (U.), Wildschut, E., Hunfeld, M., de Lange, E.C.M. (E. C.M.), & Tibboel, D. (2017). Analgosedation in paediatric severe traumatic brain injury (TBI): practice, pitfalls and possibilities. Child's Nervous System, 33(10), 1703–1710. doi:10.1007/s00381-017-3520-0