Are there alternative sedation protocols for ventilated patients if there is a shortage of common medications?Posted on by
Ventilated COVID-19 patients have higher requirements for sedation, causing a shortage of common medications. Rural and community institutions may create individualized analgosedative ladders/protocols using the diagram below and table of alternative medications as a reference.
I. GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR SEDATION IN VENTILATED PATIENTS
- Frequent reassessments and stepwise approach for pain and sedation requirements.
- The 2018 Clinical Practice guidelines from the Society of Critical Care Medicine use an analgesic-sedative (“analgosedative”) approach to sedation in critically-ill patients to minimize the sedation requirements and their associated adverse drug reactions. Multimodal adjuvants to opioids (e.g. acetaminophen, gabapentin, low-dose ketamine) are recommended to minimize opioid requirements. Minimizing benzodiazepines is recommended to improve outcomes such as ICU length-of-stay and duration of ventilation (1).
- Use the least amount of sedation possible in ventilated patients. However, COVID-19 patients may require deeper sedation due to respiratory distress and ARDS (2,3).
II. CHALLENGES IN SEDATION FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS (3)
- Given COVID-19 patients’ propensity for developing ARDS and respiratory distress, deeper sedation is required to reduce respiratory rate and promote lung-protective ventilation. COVID-19 patients also remain on ventilators for long periods of time (more than 7-14 days), and this prolonged use may cause dependence.
- These challenges may lead to shortages in sedative/analgesic medications, necessitating transition to 2nd or 3rd line and oral agents.
III. ANALGESIA AND SEDATION FOR VENTILATED COVID-19 PATIENTS
- Main goal is to use low doses of multiple medications to create a synergistic effect.
- Brigham and Women’s Hospital COVID-19 Clinical Guidelines recommends targeting sedation to ventricular synchrony to prevent ventilator-induced lung injury. Neuromuscular blocking agents (paralytics) should only be used if the patient remains dyssynchronous despite deep sedation (RASS Score -5). Their preferred initial sedation regimen is Fentanyl/Hydromorphone (bolus +/- infusion) + propofol. If triglycerides, lipase or CK levels rise significantly, consider switching to an alternative sedative such as midazolam (4,5,6).
- EM Crit shows an example of analgosedation for COVID-19, adding analgesics for pain and sedatives for agitation/anxiety in a stepwise approach (Figure 1) (see their website for details on this protocol). Medications on this ladder may be substituted based on availability (3).
- EM RAP has produced a table for alternative medications for analgesia and sedation reproduced below (Table 1) (7).
Figure 1: EM Crit Analgosedative protocol for intubated COVID-19 Patients (3).
Table 1: Sedation/Analgesia Alternative Medications (Drs. Alexis LaPietra, Sergey Motov and Bryan Hayes) (8)
|Bolus (typical dose)||Loading Dose||Infusion|
|Fentanyl||1-3 mcg/kg (50-100 mcg)||0.5-1.5 mcg/kg/hr|
|Morphine||0.1 mg/kg (6-8 mg)||0.025-0.05 mg/kg/hr|
|Hydromorphone||0.5-1 mg||0.01-0.02 mg/kg/hr|
|Remifentanil||NO BOLUS (Bradycardia + Chest Wall Rigidity)||1 mcg/kg over 10 minutes*||0.1-1 mcg/kg/hr|
|Propofol||0.5-1 mg/kg||10 mcg/kg/min + titrate up|
|Ketamine||0.5-1 mg/kg||0.15-2.5 mg/kg/hr|
|Dexmedetomidine**||NO BOLUS (Bradycardia)||1 mcg/kg over 10 minutes*||0.1-1 mcg/kg/hr|
|Midazolam||0.3-0.35 mg/kg (20 mg)||20-50 mcg/kg/hr|
|Lorazepam||0.05 mg/kg (4 mg)||0.05 mg/kg/hr|
|Phenobarbital||15-20 mg/kg||0.5-1 mg/kg/hr|
|*Can reduce to 0.5 mcg/kg in frail patients
**Dexmedetomidine can cause bradycardia if given as a bolus. Additionally, dexmedetomidine does not suppress the respiratory drive and, thus, does not foster vent synchrony.
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- Devlin J, Skrobik Y, Gélinas C, Needham D, Slooter A, Pandharipande P et al. Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Pain, Agitation/Sedation, Delirium, Immobility, and Sleep Disruption in Adult Patients in the ICU. Critical Care Medicine [Internet]. 2018;46(9):e825-e873. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ccmjournal/fulltext/2018/09000/Clinical_Practice_Guidelines_for_the_Prevention.29.aspx
- Rochwerg B. Pain, Agitation and Delirium in the ICU [Internet]. 2020 [cited 10 April 2020]. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=151&v=GnkAgbSx6n4&feature=emb_logo
- Farkas J. COVID-19 [Internet]. Internet Book of Critical Care. 2020 [cited 10 April 2020]. Available from: https://emcrit.org/ibcc/covid19/
- COVID-19 Protocols [Internet]. Brigham and Women’s Hospital COVID-19 Clinical Guidelines. 2020 [cited 10 April 2020]. Available from: https://covidprotocols.org/protocols/03-respiratory-and-pulmonology/?highlight=sedation
- Clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection (SARI) when COVID-19 disease is suspected [Internet]. World Health Organization. 2020 [cited 10 April 2020]. Available from: https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/clinical-management-of-novel-cov.pdf
- Alhazzani W, Møller M, Arabi Y, Loeb M, Gong M, Fan E et al. Surviving Sepsis Campaign: guidelines on the management of critically ill adults with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Critical Care Medicine [Internet]. 2020;. Available from: https://www.sccm.org/getattachment/Disaster/SSC-COVID19-Critical-Care-Guidelines.pdf?lang=en-US
- Mason J, Herbert M, Nordt S, Schirger D, Weingart S, Talan D et al. Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) [Internet]. EM:RAP. 2020 [cited 10 April 2020]. Available from: https://www.emrap.org/corependium/chapter/rec906m1mD6SRH9np/Novel-Coronavirus-2019-COVID-19
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