Changes in Sedation Practices in Association with Delirium Screening in Infants After Cardiopulmonary Bypass

Michael R. Chomat, Ahmed S. Said, Jessica L. Mann, Michael Wallendorf, Alexandra Bickhaus, Mayte Figueroa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sedation in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU) is necessary to keep critically ill infants safe and comfortable. However, long-term use of sedatives may be associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. We aimed to examine sedation practices in the CICU after the implementation of the Cornell Assessment of Pediatric Delirium (CAPD). We hypothesize the use of the CAPD would be associated with a decrease in sedative weans at CICU discharge. This is a single institution, retrospective cohort study. The study inclusion criteria were term infants, birthweight > 2.5 kg, cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), and mechanical ventilation (MV) on postoperative day zero. During the study period, 50 and 35 patients respectively, met criteria pre- and post-implementation of CAPD screening. Our results showed a statistically significant increase in the incidence of sedative habituation wean at CICU discharge after CAPD implementation (24% vs. 45.7%, p = 0.036). There was a statistically significant increase in exposure to opiate (56% vs. 88.6%, p = 0.001) and dexmedetomidine infusions (52% vs 80%, p = 0.008), increased likelihood of clonidine use at CICU discharge (OR 9.25, CI 2.39–35.84), and increase in the duration of intravenous sedative infusions (8.1 days vs. 5.1 days, p = 0.04) No statistical difference was found in exposure to fentanyl (42% vs. 58.8%, p = 0.13) or midazolam infusions (22% vs. 25.7%, p = 0.691); and there was no change in benzodiazepine or opiate use at CICU discharge or dosage. The prevalence of delirium in the CAPD cohort was 92%. CAPD implementation in the CICU was associated with changes in sedation practices, specifically an increase in the use of dexmedetomidine, which possibly explains the increased clonidine weans at CICU discharge. This is the first report of the association between CAPD monitoring and changes in sedative practices. Multi-center prospective studies are recommended to evaluate sedative practices, delirium, and its effects on neurodevelopment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1334-1340
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Cornell Assessment of Pediatric Delirium
  • Dexmedetomidine
  • Pediatric cardiac surgery
  • Pediatric delirium
  • Sedation
  • Sedation wean


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