Health care professionals’ knowledge of commonly used sedative, analgesic and neuromuscular drugs: a single center (Rambam Health Care Campus), prospective, observational survey- data
BACKGROUND: Pain management and sedation are important aspects in the treatment of hospitalized patients, especially those mechanically ventilated. In many hospitals, such patients are treated not only in intensive care units, but also in other wards. In the nineteen eighties, numerous studies demonstrated a wide array of misconceptions and inadequate knowledge related to commonly used sedative, analgesics and muscle relaxants which may prevent appropriate treatment. Since these publications, multiple studies have shown that appropriate sedation and analgesia are associated with improved clinical outcomes, educational programs were developed and guidelines published. Whether the personnel’s knowledge kept up with these changes is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine the current rate of misconceptions and knowledge gaps regarding commonly used sedative, analgesic and neuromuscular drugs. METHODS: In this prospective, observational, cross-sectional survey, a questionnaire was e-mailed to physicians and nurses routinely treating mechanically ventilated patients in Rambam Health Care Campus (Haifa, Israel). RESULTS: 355 questionnaires were returned. 82.54% knew that midazolam has no analgesic effect. 71-72% were familiar with the sedative effect of opiates. 27% believed that propofol has analgesic properties and 30.52% thought that rocuronium has a sedative effect. CONCLUSION: Our findings demonstrate that although a lot has been done during the last decades in order to improve the treatment of critically ill patients, the rate of misconceptions regarding pharmacological characteristics of commonly used drugs is unacceptably high. We call for performance of similar surveys in other institutes and for immediate action to improve patients’ care.