Patients who are admitted to intensive care units commonly suffer from illnesses that cause life-threatening low blood pressure. In this context, intensivists (physicians who care for patients in intensive care units) administer potent medications that increase blood pressure. Unfortunately, these medications cause adverse effects and it is not clear that they are better than the condition they are meant to treat. In this study, we intend to demonstrate the feasibility of a larger study that will investigate if administering medications to achieve higher blood pressures (that are near normal) is preferable to restricting the use of these medications by tolerating lower blood pressures. Patients will randomly receive blood pressure increasing medications for a higher or lower blood pressure target. In the definitive study, we will compare 90-day survival between groups but in this pilot study, we will validate that it is feasible to adhere to the protocol and achieve a different average blood pressure in each group while on study medication. This study is an important part of a research program that has the potential to change how we administer dangerous medications to the sickest of the sick in our hospitals – ultimately leading to safer, better patient care.
Lamontagne F, Cook DJ, Adhikari NK, et al. (2011). Vasopressor administration and sepsis: a survey of Canadian intensivists. J Crit Care;26:532 e1-7; Learn More on Pub Med
Richard Whitlock, Alison Fox-Robichaud, Lehana Thabane, Salmaan Kanji, Andrew Day, Paul Hébert, John Muscedere, John Granton, Alexis F Turgeon, Sheldon Magder, Maureen Meade, Jacques Lacroix, Daren Heyland, François Lauzier
CHU de Sherbrooke, Hamilton Health Sciences, Toronto General Hospital, Kingston General Hospital,
Ottawa Civic Hospital, Royal Victoria Hospital, CHU de Québec – Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus