Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is an increasingly utilized intervention for cardiopulmonary failure. Analgosedation during ECMO support is essential to ensure adequate pain and agitation control and ventilator synchrony, optimize ECMO support, facilitate patient assessment, and minimize adverse events. Although the principles of analgosedation are likely similar for all critically ill patients, ECMO circuitry alters medication pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics. The lack of clinical guidelines for analgosedation during ECMO, especially at times of medication shortage, can affect patient management. Here, we review pharmacological considerations, protocols, and special considerations for analgosedation in critically ill adults receiving ECMO support.
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