The use of neuromuscular blocking drugs in adult cardiac surgery: Results of a national postal survey

Glenn S. Murphy*, Joseph W. Szokol, Jeffery S. Vender, Jesse H. Marymont, Michael J. Avram

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Available data suggest that the choice of neuromuscular blocking drugs (NMBDs) can influence early clinical recovery of the fast-track cardiac surgical patient. The aim of this study was to use a survey tool to determine practice patterns of anesthesiologists for the use of NMBDs in the cardiac surgical setting. We mailed a survey to one third of the 3295 active members of the Society of Cardiovascular Anesthesiologists. A follow-up letter and survey were sent to each individual who did not respond to the initial mailing. After the second mailing, 459 surveys were returned, yielding a response rate of 43%. Pancuronium was listed as the primary NMBD used in the majority of patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass (69%) and off-pump (41%) procedures. Only 28% of respondents routinely used a peripheral nerve stimulator to monitor neuromuscular blockade in the operating room. Residual neuromuscular blockade was routinely reversed before tracheal extubation by only 9% of cardiac anesthesiologists. This survey demonstrates that long-acting NMBDs are often administered to fast-track cardiac patients. Peripheral nerve stimulator monitoring is rarely used in the operating room or intensive care unit, and reversal drugs (anticholinesterases) are infrequently administered in the postoperative period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1534-1539
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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