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P087: Procedural sedation in Canadian emergency departments a national survey of pharmacological agent selection and practice variation

  • E. Leci (a1), K. Van Aarsen (a1), A. Shah (a1) and J. W. Yan (a1)

Abstract

Introduction: Emergency department (ED) physicians strive to provide analgesia, amnesia and sedation for patients when performing painful procedures through the use of procedural sedation (PS). Examination of the literature suggests that the application of PS appears to be variable with institutional influences and clinician disagreement on pharmacology, airway management, and monitoring. The primary goal of this research project was to describe the variability of practice with respect to pharmacologic choices and clinical applications of PS among Canadian ED physicians. Methods: An electronic survey was distributed through the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP). Practicing physician members of CAEP were invited to complete the survey. The 20 question survey encompassed various aspects of PS including physician choices regarding PS indications and pharmacology. The primary outcome was the quantification of practice variability among ED physicians with respect to the above listed aspects of PS. The data was presented with simple descriptive statistics. Results: To date, 278 ED physicians responded to our survey (response rate 20.3%). Respondents were primarily academic hospital (53.2%) or community hospital based (38.2%). With emergency medicine training as: CCFP-EM (55.2%), FRCPC (30.1%), and CCFP (9.0%). There was relative agreement on the following interventions requiring PS: 98.4% applied PS for electrical cardioversion and 98.1% for brief (<10 mins) orthopedic manipulations. However, only 36.3% utilized PS for burn debridement in the ED. PS was utilized less frequently (78.1%) for prolonged (>10mins) orthopedic manipulations than brief manipulations. For all procedures aggregated, in hemodynamically stable patients with an American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA) score of 1, ED physicians utilized propofol 76.3% of the time. Additional agents were utilized at the following rates: fentanyl-propofol (7.6%), ketamine (7.6%), and fentanyl (4%). This inclination towards propofol alone appears to be consistent across modality of ER training, type of ER setting (rural vs academic), and volume of PS performed. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that Canadian ED physicians have a clear preference for propofol as a first line pharmacologic agent when administering PS in hemodynamically stable, ASA1 patients. Conversely, there appears to be more variation amongst ED physicians with respect to second line pharmaceutical choices for PS.

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