Mucolytics for intubated asthmatic children: a national survey of United kingdom paediatric intensive care consultants

Crit Care Res Pract. 2015;2015:396107. doi: 10.1155/2015/396107. Epub 2015 Feb 4.

Abstract

Aim. The extent to which mucolytics are utilised in mechanically ventilated asthmatic children is unknown. We sought to establish current practice in the United Kingdom (UK) including choice of mucolytic, dose, and frequency of utilisation. Methods. A national electronic survey was distributed to UK consultants during April and May 2014. We were able to identify 168 PICU consultants at 25 institutions to whom we were able to electronically distribute a survey, representing an estimated 81% of UK NHS PICU consultants. Results. Replies were received from 87 consultants at 21 institutions (response rate = 52%). Recombinant human DNase (rhDNase) does get administered by 63% of clinicians, with 54% and 19% that administer hypertonic saline or N-acetylcysteine, respectively. Of those that do administer rhDNase the majority (48%) dilute it with 0.9% saline and blindly administer it, whereas 35% administer rhDNase under bronchoscopic guidance and 17% judge the necessity for bronchoscopy according to clinical severity. 25 respondents described 7 different methods to calculate rhDNase dose. A majority (87%) of respondents expressed an interest to consider enrolling patients into an RCT that evaluates rhDNase. Conclusion. Significant variation exists regarding the necessity for mucolytics, choice of agent, optimal route, and dose in intubated asthmatic children.