Purpose: To evaluate potential differences in days on mechanical ventilation for patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) based on route of administration of analgesic and sedative medications: intravenous (IV) alone vs IV + enteral (EN). Summary: This institutional review board-approved study evaluated ventilation time and fentanyl or midazolam requirements with or without concurrent EN hydromorphone and lorazepam. Patients were included in the study if they were 18 to 89 years old and were admitted to the intensive care unit with a positive severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction or antigen test and respiratory failure requiring invasive mechanical ventilation for more than 72 hours. In total, 100 patients were evaluated, 60 in the IV-only group and 40 in the IV + EN group. There was not a significant difference in ventilation time between the groups (mean [SD], 19.6 [12.8] days for IV + EN vs 15.6 [11.2] days for IV only; P = 0.104). However, fentanyl (2,064  μg vs 2,443  μg; P < 0.001) and midazolam (137  mg vs 158  mg; P = 0.004) requirements on day 3 were significantly higher in the IV-only group, and the increase in fentanyl requirements from day 1 to day 3 was greater in the IV-only group than in the IV + EN group (378  μg vs 34  μg; P = 0.033). Conclusion: Addition of EN analgesic and sedative medications to those administered by the IV route did not change the duration of mechanical ventilation in patients with COVID-19, but the combination may reduce IV opioid requirements, decreasing the impact of IV medication shortages.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy