OBJECTIVE: The development of practice parameters for achieving sustained neuromuscular blockade in the adult critically ill patient for the purpose of guiding clinical practice. PARTICIPANTS: A task force of more than 40 experts in disciplines related to the use of neuromuscular blocking agents in the intensive care unit was convened from the membership of the American College of Critical Care Medicine (ACCM) and the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM). EVIDENCE: The task force members provided the personal experience and determined the published literature (MEDLINE articles, textbooks, pharmacopeias, etc.) from which consensus would be sought. Published literature was reviewed and classified into one of four predetermined categories, according to study design and scientific value. CONSENSUS PROCESS: The task force met several times as a whole, and numerous times in smaller groups by teleconference, over a 1-yr period to identify the pertinent literature and arrive at consensus recommendations for the whole task force to discuss. Consideration was given to the relationship between the weight of scientific information and the experts' viewpoints. Over the next year, draft documents were composed by a task force steering committee and debated by the task force members until consensus was reached by nominal group process. The task force draft was then reviewed, assessed, and edited by the Board of Regents of the ACCM. After steering committee approval, the draft document was reviewed and approved by the SCCM Council. DATA SYNTHESIS: To facilitate rapid communication of the three recommendations contained within the complete and unabridged practice parameter document, an executive summary was prepared for publication by the ACCM Board of Regents, and this executive summary was approved by the task force steering committee and the SCCM Executive Council. CONCLUSIONS: A consensus of experts provided three recommendations with supporting data for achieving sustained neuromuscular blockade in critically ill patients: a) pancuronium is the preferred neuromuscular blocking agent for most critically ill patients; b) vecuronium is the preferred neuromuscular blocking agent for those patients with cardiac disease or hemodynamic instability in whom tachycardia may be deleterious; c) patients receiving neuromuscular blocking agents should be appropriately assessed for the degree of blockade that is being sustained. This executive summary selectively presents supporting information and is not intended as a substitute for the complete document.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine