Benzodiazepine-Free Cardiac Anesthesia for Reduction of Postoperative Delirium (B-Free): A Protocol for a Multi-centre Randomized Cluster Crossover Trial

B-Free Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Delirium is common after cardiac surgery and is associated with adverse outcomes. Administration of benzodiazepines before and after cardiac surgery is associated with delirium; guidelines recommend minimizing their use. Benzodiazepine administration during cardiac surgery remains common because of its recognized benefits. The Benzodiazepine-Free Cardiac Anesthesia for Reduction of Postoperative Delirium (B-Free) trial is a randomized cluster crossover trial evaluating whether an institutional policy of restricting intraoperative benzodiazepine administration (ie, ≥ 90% of patients do not receive benzodiazepines during cardiac surgery), as compared with a policy of liberal intraoperative benzodiazepine administration (ie, ≥ 90% of patients receive ≥ 0.03 mg/kg midazolam equivalent), reduces delirium. Hospitals performing ≥ 250 cardiac surgeries a year are included if their cardiac anesthesia group agrees to apply both benzodiazepine policies per their randomization, and patients are assessed for postoperative delirium every 12 hours in routine clinical care. Hospitals apply the restricted or liberal benzodiazepine policy during 12 to 18 crossover periods of 4 weeks each. Randomization for all periods takes place in advance of site startup; sites are notified of their allocated policy during the last week of each crossover period. Policies are applied to all patients undergoing cardiac surgery during the trial period. The primary outcome is the incidence of delirium at up to 72 hours after surgery. The B-Free trial will enroll ≥ 18,000 patients undergoing cardiac surgery at 20 hospitals across North America. Delirium is common after cardiac surgery, and benzodiazepines are associated with the occurrence of delirium. The B-Free trial will determine whether an institutional policy restricting the administration of benzodiazepines during cardiac surgery reduces the incidence of delirium after cardiac surgery. Clinicaltrials.gov registration number: NCT03928236 (First registered April 26, 2019).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-699
Number of pages9
JournalCJC Open
Volume5
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

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