Effectiveness of α2agonists for sedation in paediatric critical care: study protocol for a retrospective cohort observational study.

INTRODUCTION: Mechanically ventilated children in paediatric intensive care units are commonly administered analgesics and sedative agents to minimise pain and distress and facilitate cooperation with medical interventions. Opioids and benzodiazepines are the most common analgesic and sedative agents but have safety concerns. The α

METHODS AND ANALYSIS: We will conduct a retrospective cohort study in two Irish paediatric intensive care units using clinical information on patient characteristics, sedation scores and drug use. Eligible children admitted between January 2014 and June 2016 who were mechanically ventilated and received an opioid infusion will be included. Patients will be categorised into two exposure categories (received an α

ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has been approved by the ethics committees of both hospitals. Dissemination will occur via local, national and international presentations for academic and healthcare audiences as well as through peer reviewed publications.