[Application of muscle relaxants for rapid-sequence induction of anaesthesia]

R Hofmockel, G Geldner, C Diefenbach, T Fuchs-Buder, K Ulm, M Blobner
Der Anaesthesist 2003, 52 (6): 516-21
The present study evaluates the use of muscle relaxants for rapid-sequence induction (RSI) and different application techniques (pre-curarisation, priming, timing) as a part of a nationwide survey in Germany. In 86.8% of anaesthesia departments succinylcholine is used for RSI and an average of 56.5% of respondents used only succinylcholine for RSI. Of all non-depolarising muscle relaxants rocuronium is the most frequently used alternative. Of the anaesthesia departments 2.6% use rocuronium regularly in patients with increased risk for aspiration of stomach contents; level one centres significantly more than others, 12.9% answered that pre-curarisation techniques were never used, whereas 45.6% use non-depolarising neuromuscular blocking drugs before giving succinylcholine in 80-100% of cases. Priming is not used by 64.4% of respondents, as opposed to 9.8% who utilise this technique regularly. The statements regarding timing are 71.1% and 5.4%, respectively. Alcuronium is used for RSI in departments in which the financial aspect is the primary decision criteria. Despite ist known side-effects and the on-going discussion over the past years, succinylcholine is still the most frequently used muscle relaxants for RSI. Priming is often declined by anaesthetists in Germany, most probably due to the absence of clear advantages and the possibility of severe complications. It is the opinion of the authors that timing but also drugs with a slow onset (e.g., alcuronium and Pancuronium) are obsolete in the context of RSI.

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