Barrington K. Premedication for endotracheal intubation in the newborn infant. Paediatr Child Health. 2011;16(3):159–171. doi:10.1093/pch/16.3.159
Endotracheal intubation, a common procedure in newborn care, is associated with pain and cardiorespiratory instability. The use of premedication reduces the adverse physiological responses of bradycardia, systemic hypertension, intracranial hypertension and hypoxia. Perhaps more importantly, premedication decreases the pain and discomfort associated with the procedure. All newborn infants, therefore, should receive analgesic premedication for endotracheal intubation except in emergency situations. Based on current evidence, an optimal protocol for premedication is to administer a vagolytic (intravenous [IV] atropine 20 μg/kg), a rapid-acting analgesic (IV fentanyl 3 μg/kg to 5 μg/kg; slow infusion) and a short-duration muscle relaxant (IV succinylcholine 2 mg/kg). Intubations should be performed or supervised by trained staff, with close monitoring of the infant throughout.
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