The use of neuromuscular blocking agents in the ICU: where are we now?

Crit Care Med. 2013 May;41(5):1332-44. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0b013e31828ce07c.


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.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Female
  • Heart Arrest / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents / adverse effects
  • Prognosis
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome / drug therapy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Status Asthmaticus / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuromuscular Blocking Agents