Propofol Infusion Is a Feasible Bridge to Extubation in General Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Academic Article uri icon


  • Objective: The current literature on propofol infusion as a bridge to extubation in critically ill children is limited to children with burns and congenital cardiac disease. We hypothesize that propofol infusion is a feasible bridge to extubation in mechanically ventilated, critically ill children. Design: Retrospective chart review. Setting: Pediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary care teaching hospital. Patients: Children < 21 years, admitted to our Pediatric intensive care unit (PICU), requiring mechanical ventilation (MV) for at least 48 h and at least two sedative infusions and who received propofol infusion for 4 to 24 h during anticipated extubation from January 2014 to May 2017. Interventions: None. Measurements and Main Results: We assessed extubation success as primary outcome. We defined extubation success as no re-intubation within 24 h after extubation. We also assessed for occurrence of adverse effects of propofol infusion (1) hemodynamic instability [more than 10% change from pre-propofol baseline heart rate (HR) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) measured 4 h before and during propofol infusion, need for any inotrope and/or fluid bolus] and (2) occurrence of lactic acidosis in absence of any documented sepsis. We compared hemodynamic parameters before and during infusion using Wilcoxon Rank Sum Test (significant p-value 0.05). We evaluated 35 critically ill, mechanically ventilated children. The median age, weight and duration of MV were 3.8 (IQR: 1.25-10.5) years, 12 (IQR: 6-16.2) kilograms and 111 (IQR: 78-212) h, respectively. Of the 35 patients, 15 (43%) were post-surgical (10 general and 5 cardiac) and the remaining 20 (57%) were non-surgical respiratory failure cases. The median (IQR) propofol infusion dose and duration were 64.7 (53.2-81.1) mcg/kg/min and 7.8 h respectively. Only one patient got re-intubated within 24 h of extubation and was later diagnosed with vascular ring. During propofol infusion, 7/35 (20%) patients exhibited transient drop in MAP > 10% from baseline, but none had lactic acidosis or required an inotrope or fluid bolus. Conclusions: In critically ill, mechanically ventilated patients, propofol infusion used over a short duration (<12 h) was found to be a feasible bridge to extubation. No patient had significant hypotension or lactic acidosis during the infusion.

published proceedings

  • Front Pediatr

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Bhalala, U. S., Patel, A., Thangavelu, M., Sauter, M., & Appachi, E.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Bhalala, Utpal S||Patel, Abhishek||Thangavelu, Malarvizhi||Sauter, Morris||Appachi, Elumalai

publication date

  • January 2020