Comparison of push-dose phenylephrine and epinephrine in the emergency department.

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The American journal of emergency medicine


california; fullerton


BACKGROUND: There is limited evidence to support the efficacy and safety of push-dose vasopressor (PDP) use outside of the operating room (OR). Specifically, there are few head-to-head comparisons of different PDP in these settings. The purpose of this study was to compare the efficacy and safety of push-dose phenylephrine (PDP-PE) and epinephrine (PDP-E) in the Emergency Department (ED).

METHODS: This retrospective, single-center study evaluated adults given PDP-PE or PDP-E in the ED from May 2017 to November 2020. The primary outcome was a change in heart rate (HR). Secondary outcomes included changes in blood pressure, adverse effects, dosing errors, fluid and vasopressor requirements, ICU and hospital lengths of stay (LOS), and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS: Ninety-six patients were included in the PDP-PE group and 39 patients in the PDP-E group. Median changes in HR were 0 [-7, 6] and - 2 [-15, 5] beats per minute (BPM) for PDP-PE and PDP-E, respectively (p = 0.138). PDP-E patients had a greater median increase in systolic blood pressure (SBP) (33 [24, 53] vs. 26 [8, 51] mmHg; p = 0.049). Dosing errors occurred more frequently in patients that received PDP-E (5/39 [12.8%] vs. 2/96 [2.1%]; p = 0.021). PDP-E patients more frequently received continuous epinephrine infusions before and after receiving PDP-E. There were no differences in adverse effects, fluid requirements, LOS, or mortality.

CONCLUSION: PDP-E provided a greater increase in SBP compared to PDP-PE. However, dosing errors occurred more frequently in those receiving PDP-E. Larger head-to-head studies are necessary to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of PDP-E and PDP-PE.


Emergency Medicine