Mechanical ventilation with lower tidal volumes does not influence the prescription of opioids or sedatives

Wolthuis, E. K., Veelo, D. P., Choi, G., Determann, R. M., Korevaar, J. C., Spronk, P. E., Kuiper, M. A. & Schultz, M. J., 2007, In : Critical care (London, England). 11, 4, 9 p., R77.

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  • Esther K Wolthuis
  • Denise P Veelo
  • Goda Choi
  • Rogier M Determann
  • Johanna C Korevaar
  • Peter E Spronk
  • Michael A Kuiper
  • Marcus J Schultz

INTRODUCTION: We compared the effects of mechanical ventilation with a lower tidal volume (V(T)) strategy versus those of greater V(T) in patients with or without acute lung injury (ALI)/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) on the use of opioids and sedatives.

METHODS: This is a secondary analysis of a previously conducted before/after intervention study, which consisting of feedback and education on lung protective mechanical ventilation using lower V(T). We evaluated the effects of this intervention on medication prescriptions from days 0 to 28 after admission to our multidisciplinary intensive care unit.

RESULTS: Medication prescriptions in 23 patients before and 38 patients after intervention were studied. Of these patients, 10 (44%) and 15 (40%) suffered from ALI/ARDS. The V(T) of ALI/ARDS patients declined from 9.7 ml/kg predicted body weight (PBW) before to 7.8 ml/kg PBW after the intervention (P = 0.007). For patients who did not have ALI/ARDS there was a trend toward a decline from 10.2 ml/kg PBW to 8.6 ml/kg PBW (P = 0.073). Arterial carbon dioxide tension was significantly greater after the intervention in ALI/ARDS patients. Neither the proportion of patients receiving opioids or sedatives, or prescriptions at individual time points differed between pre-intervention and post-intervention. Also, there were no statistically significant differences in doses of sedatives and opioids. Findings were no different between non-ALI/ARDS patients and ALI/ARDS patients.

CONCLUSION: Concerns regarding sedation requirements with use of lower V(T) are unfounded and should not preclude its use in patients with ALI/ARDS.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberR77
Number of pages9
JournalCritical care (London, England)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Analgesics, Opioid, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Female, Humans, Hypnotics and Sedatives, Male, Outcome and Process Assessment (Health Care), Practice Patterns, Physicians', Respiration, Artificial, Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult, Tidal Volume

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