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OP-044 Dexmedetomidine use for analgesia in preterm babies
  1. Gozdem Kayki,
  2. Nadir Yalcin,
  3. Hasan Tolga Celik,
  4. Sule Yigit
  1. Hacettepe University


Aim The objective of this study is to assess the safety profile and potential side effects of dexmedetomidine in preterm infants. This evaluation will be conducted by analyzing data from patients who were hospitalized in NICU for two years and received dexmedetomidine during their course of treatment.

Material and Method During the period from May 1, 2021, to May 1, 2023, patients admitted to NICU and treated with dexmedetomidine were screened for inclusion in this study. Inclusion criteria comprised patients with a gestational age below 37 weeks. The decision to initiate dexmedetomidine administration relied on the Neonatal Pain, Agitation, and Sedation Scale (N-PASS), with patients scoring above 3 being considered for pain management. Patients data included in the study were retrieved from the hospital registry system. Information regarding indications for dexmedetomidine use, treatment duration, drug dosages, and recorded side effects was meticulously documented.

Results Among 157 patients administered dexmedetomidine over two years, 62 (39.5%) were preterm babies. Term infants began medication on the 11th day (±10), while premature infants started on the 20th day (±37) postnatally, with an average usage duration of 8 days (±11). Notably, 79% (n = 49) received the drug post-surgery or intervention. The average starting dose was 0.3 mcg/kg/hour (±0.11), peaking at 0.46 mcg/kg/hour (±0.19). During follow-up, total 12 newborns experienced drug-related side effects—hypotension in 5, bradycardia in 6, and apnea in 1. Six of these cases were preterm infants.

Conclusions The increased utilization of dexmedetomidine in neonatal intensive care units is a noteworthy trend. This study’s findings offer support for the reliability of short-term outcomes associated with dexmedetomidine use in premature babies, demonstrating its potential benefits within this population. However, our observation of a higher incidence of side effects in preterm infants warrants careful consideration.

  • dexmedetomidine
  • preterm infants

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