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The Use of Neuromuscular Blocking Agents in the ICU

Where Are We Now?

Greenberg, Steven B. MD1,2; Vender, Jeffery MD, MBA, FCCP, FCCM1,2

doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e31828ce07c
Concise Definitive Review

Intensivists use neuromuscular blocking agents for a variety of clinical conditions, including for emergency intubation, acute respiratory distress syndrome, status asthmaticus, elevated intracranial pressure, elevated intra-abdominal pressure, and therapeutic hypothermia after ventricular fibrillation–associated cardiac arrest. The continued creation and use of evidence-based guidelines and protocols could ensure that neuromuscular blocking agents are used and monitored appropriately. A collaborative multidisciplinary approach coupled with constant review of the pharmacology, dosing, drug interactions, and monitoring techniques may reduce the adverse events associated with the use of neuromuscular blocking agents.

1University of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

2NorthShore University HealthSystem, Evanston, IL.

Dr. Vendor consulted for Pharmadiem. Dr. Greenberg has disclosed that he does not have any potential conflicts of interest.

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© 2013 by the Society of Critical Care Medicine and Lippincott Williams & Wilkins