Purpose: In most extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) centers patients are heavily sedated to prevent accidental decannulation and bleeding complications. In ventilated adults not on ECMO, daily sedation interruption protocols improve short- and long-term outcome. This study aims to evaluate safety and feasibility of sedation interruption following cannulation in neonates on ECMO. Methods: Prospective observational study in 20 neonates (0.17-5.8 days of age) admitted for ECMO treatment. Midazolam (n = 20) and morphine (n = 18) infusions were discontinued within 30 min after cannulation. Pain and sedation were regularly assessed using COMFORT-B and visual analog scale (VAS) scores. Midazolam and/or morphine were restarted and titrated according to protocolized treatment algorithms. Results: Median (interquartile range, IQR) time without any sedatives was 10.3 h (5.0-24.1 h). Median interruption duration for midazolam was 16.5 h (6.6-29.6 h), and for morphine was 11.2 h (6.7-39.4 h). During this period no accidental extubations, decannulations or bleeding complications occurred. Conclusions: This is the first study to show that interruption of sedatives and analgesics following cannulation in neonates on ECMO is safe and feasible. Interruption times are 2-3 times longer than reported for adult ICU patients not on ECMO. Further trials are needed to substantiate these findings and evaluate short- and long-term outcomes.

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doi.org/10.1007/s00134-010-1931-4, hdl.handle.net/1765/20855
Intensive Care Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wildschut, E., Hanekamp, M., Vet, N., Houmes, R. J., Ashman, M., Mathôt, R., … Tibboel, D. (2010). Feasibility of sedation and analgesia interruption following cannulation in neonates on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Intensive Care Medicine, 36(9), 1587–1591. doi:10.1007/s00134-010-1931-4