Background. Neuromuscular blockade is associated with improved airway conditions for intubation and superior conditions for surgical interventions (predominantly important in laparoscopic surgery). Residual neuromuscular blockade in the postoperative period is, according to recently published data, associated with a negative impact on perioperative morbidity and mortality.
Aim. The aim of the study was to describe daily practice in clinical paediatric anaesthesia in a tertiary children’s hospital.
Methods. Data from anaesthesiology records during the period 1.1.2016 to 31.12.2016 were retrospectively screened. Primary outcomes included the rate of surgery cases with neuromuscular blockade, the incidence of cases with perioperative neuromuscular blockade monitoring and the incidence of neuromuscular pharmacologic block reversal. Secondary outcomes were myorelaxant usage according to the age of patients and duration of surgery.
Results. Overall 8046 paediatric patients underwent general anaesthesia in the study period. Muscle relaxants were administered in 1650 cases (20.5%). The most frequently administered muscle relaxant was mivacurium (48.2 %, n=795), followed by cis-atracurium (36.4 %, n=601), suxamethonium (10.3 %, n=170) and rocuronium (7.0 %, n=115). Neuromuscular blockade monitoring was used only in 2.5% (n=41) of cases. Active neuromuscular blockade reversal was administered in 5.8% (n=95) of cases.
Conclusion. Neuromuscular blockade in paediatric anaesthesia was less frequent compared to adults. The low rate of neuromuscular blockade monitoring in combination with the low rate of active block reversal can be considered dangerous due to the relatively high risk of potential residual postoperative blockade, that can negatively influence clinical outcome.
Key words: neuromuscular blocking agent, paediatric anaesthesia, residual blockade, neuromuscular blockade