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[Does fentanyl or midazolam improve patient's comfort and cooperation when given for regional catheter placement? A randomized, controlled and double-blind trial]

Author(s): Morin AM, Vasters FG, Wulf H, Geldner G, Kratz C, Hedderich U, Kussin A, Eisenhardt G, Eberhart LH

Affiliation(s): Klinik fur Anasthesie und Intensivtherapie, Klinikum der Philipps-Universitat Marburg. a.morin@web.de

Publication date & source: 2004-10, Anaesthesist., 53(10):944-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: The procedure of placing a catheter for continuous regional anaesthesia is often associated with fear and pain in the patient. Thus, we evaluated the use of midazolam and fentanyl to improve patient's comfort and cooperation. METHODS: After an oral dose of 20 mg clorazepate, 174 patients receiving peripheral nerve catheters for regional anaesthesia where randomized into 3 groups to receive either intravenous placebo, 3 mg midazolam or 0.1 mg fentanyl immediately before catheter placement in a double-blind manner. Stepwise regression analysis was used to identify factors associated with patient's assessment of subjective discomfort (measured using a VAS 0-10) during the procedure. Amnesia was evaluated 24 h later. The anaesthetist rated patient's cooperation during catheter placement. RESULTS: Female sex and longer duration of catheter placement had significant negative impact on patient's comfort, whereas fentanyl showed an improvement. Age, body mass index, midazolam and the type of catheter had no influence. The following day 27% of the midazolam group, 6% of the placebo group and 9% of the fentanyl patients did not remember catheter placement. Patient's cooperation was poor in 26% of the midazolam patients but only in 9% of the placebo and 3% of the patients receiving fentanyl. Of the placebo patients 18.4% had to be supplemented with fentanyl because they found the procedure of catheter placement unbearable. No side effects occurred in either group. CONCLUSION: As patient's comfort and cooperation were significantly improved by fentanyl, we recommend fentanyl to facilitate catheter placement for regional anaesthesia.

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