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To characterise the current approach to sedation, analgesia, iatrogenic withdrawal syndrome and delirium in paediatric cardiac ICUs.
A convenience sample survey of practitioners at institutions participating in the Pediatric Cardiac Critical Care Consortium conducted from September to December 2020.
Paediatric cardiac ICUs.
Measurements and main results:
Survey responses were received from 33 of 42 institutions contacted. Screening for pain and agitation occurs commonly and frequently. A minority of responding centres (39%) have a written analgesia management protocol/guideline. A minority (42%) of centres have a written protocol for sedation. Screening for withdrawal occurs commonly, although triggers for withdrawal screening vary. Only 42% of respondents have written protocols for withdrawal management. Screening for delirium occurs “always” in 46% of responding centres, “sometimes” in 36% of centres and “never” 18%. Nine participating centres (27%) have written protocols for delirium management.
Our survey identified that most responding paediatric cardiac ICUs lack a standardised approach to the management of analgesia, sedation, iatrogenic withdrawal, and delirium. Screening for pain and agitation occurs regularly, while screening for withdrawal occurs fairly frequently, and screening for delirium is notably less consistent. Only a minority of centres use written protocols or guidelines for the management of these problems. We believe that this represents an opportunity to significantly improve patient care within the paediatric cardiac ICU.
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