Survey of propofol infusions in PICUs in North America

The objective of this survey was to assess the current use of continuous infusion propofol in PICUs across the United States and Canada” Kurek et al (2019).

Abstract:

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this survey was to assess the current use of continuous infusion propofol in PICUs across the United States and Canada.

METHODS: A list of institutions with PICU beds/units was identified through the residency directories available on the American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists (ASHP) and Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CHSP) Web sites. A REDCap questionnaire was sent to each identified institution’s program director via email. An initial reminder email was sent out 2 weeks later and a second reminder email was sent 4 weeks after the initial request. The survey was closed at 6 weeks.

RESULTS: A total of 514 emails were sent to residency program directors, and 50 pharmacists responded to the survey. Of the pharmacists that did respond, 27 (54%) reported using propofol while 23 (46%) did not. Of those that did not, 43.5% reported the FDA boxed warning as the primary reason. Thirty-seven percent of respondents using propofol felt comfortable using a maximum infusion rate of 200 mcg/kg/min. Twenty-nine percent, 25%, and 33% of those who responded as using propofol felt comfortable using this agent for a maximum duration of 24, 48, and 72 hours, respectively. The majority of respondents using propofol did not have a case of propofol-related infusion syndrome.

CONCLUSIONS: Despite the FDA warning, propofol is used as a continuous infusion (with variable limitations) by a majority of pharmacists in North America. Self-reported incidence of propofol-related infusion syndrome (PRIS) remains low.

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Reference:

Kurek, K.J., Harthan, A.A. and Tripathi, S. (2019) Survey of Pharmacists Regarding the Use of Propofol Infusions in the PICUs in North America. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 24(6), p.473-478. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-24.6.473.

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