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Sedation and analgesia in critically ill patients with COVID-19: a cohort retrospective study

  • Caterina Aurilio1
  • Antonio Corcione2
  • Fiorentino Fraganza3
  • Pasquale Sansone1
  • Antonella Paladini4
  • Maria Beatrice Passavanti1
  • Vincenzo Pota1
  • Francesco Coppolino1
  • Francesca Molino1
  • Maria Caterina Pace1

1Department of Woman, Child and General and Specialized Surgery, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", 80011 Naples, Italy

2Intensive Care Unit, AORN Ospedali dei Colli-Monaldi Hospital, 80133 Naples, Italy

3Cotugno Hospital, AORN Ospedali dei Colli, 80133 Napoli, Italy

4Department MESVA, University of L'Aquila, 67100 L'Aquila, Italy

DOI: 10.22514/sv.2021.129

Submitted: 12 May 2021 Accepted: 28 June 2021

Online publish date: 14 July 2021

*Corresponding Author(s): Caterina Aurilio E-mail:


Introduction: The global pandemic of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) began in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and spread worldwide. This retrospective study summarizes clinical experience and analgo-sedation treatment used for this novel epidemic in an Italian ICU between February to May 2020.

Methods: This is a retrospective trial of 72 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) admitted to ICU between February15, 2020 and May 15, 2020. Main Outcomes are demographic, clinical data (age, sex, medical comorbidities, respiratory supports, positive end-expiratory pressure values (PEEP), fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2), arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2), sedatives and analgesic drugs, their dosage and way of administration, medical treatments and patients mortality), ventilation strategies, sedation management in ICUs and patient mortality.

Results: The mean age of the 72 patients included in the study was 69 years (SD ±12), 77% were male. All patients required respiratory support and sedation management according to different techniques of ventilation: 100% received deep sedation (RASS -4) before intubation and invasive mechanical ventilation and 19% received light sedation (RASS -1) and noninvasive ventilation).

Conclusions: Of the 72 patients admitted in ICUs, 92% died. A total of 608 patients admitted to the AORN dei Colli “Naples” with confirmed COVID-19. In this restrospective study we have analyzed 72 (out of 608) patients that were admitted to intensive care due to worsening clinical conditions. All patients required tracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation with deep sedation (RASS -4), while only 19%(patients required light sedation so RASS -1) were subsequentely swiched to light sedation because of the need of compliance with non-invasive ventilation. Sedation was obtained with propofol, remifentanil, midazolam and dexmedetomidine, according to hospital guidelines.


COVID-19; Naso-pharyngeal swab; Pneumonia; Acute respiratory failure; Interstitial lung disease; Sedation

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Caterina Aurilio,Antonio Corcione,Fiorentino Fraganza,Pasquale Sansone,Antonella Paladini,Maria Beatrice Passavanti,Vincenzo Pota,Francesco Coppolino,Francesca Molino,Maria Caterina Pace. Sedation and analgesia in critically ill patients with COVID-19: a cohort retrospective study. Signa Vitae. 2021.doi:10.22514/sv.2021.129.


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