Outcomes of Patients with Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Treated with High-Dose Sedatives and Deferred Intubation.

Link to article at PubMed

Outcomes of Patients with Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome Treated with High-Dose Sedatives and Deferred Intubation.

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016 Jan 22;

Authors: Stewart R, Perez R, Musial B, Lukens C, Adjepong YA, Manthous C

RATIONALE: High doses of sedating drugs are often used to manage critically ill patients with alcohol withdrawal syndrome.
OBJECTIVE: To describe outcomes and risks of pneumonia and endotracheal intubation in patients with alcohol withdrawal syndrome treated with high-dose intravenous sedatives and deferred endotracheal intubation.
METHODS: Observational cohort study of consecutive patients treated in the ICU of a university-affiliated, community hospital for alcohol withdrawal syndrome, where patients were not routinely intubated to receive high-dose or continuously infused sedating medications.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We studied 188 patients hospitalized with alcohol withdrawal syndrome from 2008 through 2012 at 1 medical center. The mean age of the subjects was 50.8±(SD)9.0 years and their mean ICU admission APACHE II score was 6.2±3.4. 30 (16%) subjects developed pneumonia, and 38 (20.2%) required intubation. All of the 188 patients received lorazepam (median total of 42.5 mg), and 170 of 188 received midazolam, all but 2 by continuous intravenous infusion (median total of 527 mg all administered in ICU): 19 received propofol (median total of 6000 mg); and 19 received dexmetomidine (median total dose of 1075 mg). Intubated patients received substantially more benzodiazepine (median total dose, 761 mg lorazepam equivalent versus 229 mg for subjects in the non-intubated group, p<0.0001). Endotracheal intubation was associated with pneumonia and higher acuity of illness (APACHE II score>10). Intubated patients had a longer duration of hospital stay (median: 15 vs 6 days, p≤0.0001). One patient did not survive hospitalization.
CONCLUSION: In this single-center, observational study, where endotracheal intubation was deferred until aspiration or cardiopulmonary decompensation, treatment of alcohol withdrawal syndrome with high-dose, continuously infused sedating medications was not associated with excess morbidity or mortality.

PMID: 26799430 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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