Background: The United Kingdom Paediatric Intensive Care Society Sedation, Analgesia and Neuromuscular Blockade Working Group is a multidisciplinary expert panel created to produce consensus guidelines on sedation, analgesia and neuromuscular blockade in critically ill children and forward knowledge in these areas. Neuromuscular blockade is recognized as an important element in the care of the critically ill and adult clinical practice guidelines in this area have been available for several years. However, similar clinical practice guidelines have not previously been produced for the critically ill pediatric patient.
Methods: A modified Delphi technique was employed to allow the Working Group to anonymously consider draft recommendations in up to three Delphi rounds with predetermined levels of agreement. This process was supported by a total of four consensus conferences and once consensus had been achieved, a systematic review of the available literature was carried out.
Results: A set of consensus guidelines was produced including six key recommendations. An evaluation of the existing literature supporting these recommendations is provided.
Conclusions: Multidisciplinary consensus guidelines for maintenance neuromuscular blockade in critically ill children (excluding neonates) have been successfully produced and are supported by levels of evidence. The Working Group has highlighted the paucity of high quality evidence in these important clinical areas and this emphasizes the need for further randomized clinical trials in this area.