Aim: To determine the effects of propofol for endotracheal intubation in neonates in daily clinical practice.
Methods: We prospectively studied the pharmacodynamic effects of intravenous propofol administration in neonates who needed endotracheal intubation at the neonatal intensive care unit.
Results: Propofol was used for 62 intubations in neonates with postmenstrual ages ranging from 24 + 3 weeks to 44 + 5 weeks and bodyweights ranging from 520 to 4380 g. A 2 mg/kg bodyweight propofol starting dose was sufficient in 37% of patients; additional propofol was needed less often on the first postnatal day. The mean amount of propofol used was 3.3 (±1.2) mg/kg. The success rate of intubation depended on the experience of the physician and was related to the total administered amount of propofol. Hypotension occurred in 39% of patients and occurred more often at the first postnatal day. In 15% of procedures, propofol mono therapy was insufficient.
Conclusion: This study shows that high doses of propofol are needed to reach effective sedation in neonates for intubation, with hypotension as a side effect in a considerable percentage of patients. Further research in newborn patients needs to identify optimal propofol doses and risk factors for hypotension.
Keywords: Intubation; Neonatology; Propofol; Sedation.
©2013 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.