Dexmedetomidine and worsening hypoxemia in the setting of COVID-19: A case report.
Am J Emerg Med. 2020 May 27;:
Authors: Stockton J, Kyle-Sidell C
Emergency department management of hypoxemia in the setting of COVID-19 is riddled with uncertainty. The lack of high-quality research has translated to an absence of clarity at the bedside. With disease spread outpacing treatment consensus, provider discretion has taken on a heightened role. Here, we report a case of dexmedetomidine use in the setting of worsening hypoxemia, whereby oxygenation improved and intubation was avoided. Well known pharmacologic properties of the drug, namely the lack of respiratory depression and its anti-delirium effects, as well as other possible physiologic effects, suggest potential benefit for patients being managed with a delayed intubation approach. If dexmedetomidine can improve compliance with non-invasive oxygen support (the current recommended first-line therapy) while promoting better oxygenation, it may also decrease the need for mechanical ventilation and thus improve mortality.
PMID: 32475761 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]