Development and pilot testing of the neuromuscular blockade advisory system

TitleDevelopment and pilot testing of the neuromuscular blockade advisory system
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsGilhuly, T. J., S. R. Hutchings, G. A. Dumont, and B. A. MacLeod
JournalComputer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine

The neuromuscular blocker advisory system (NMBAS) is a computer program developed to provide advisory guidance to anesthesiologists on the timing and dose of rocuronium to paralyze patients during surgery. It is believed that the use of such a system will administer the minimally effective amount of drug,, maintaining the patient in a state of paralysis that is useful for surgery yet easily reversible. This will improve patient safety and result in more efficient care. In this paper we present the NMBAS, its basic methodology, and its development though a pilot study. Novel methods of handling neuromuscular response data are presented, including relaxation measurement and the enhanced-train-of-four sensing modality. New methods of handling nonlinearities at the neuromuscular junction to allow application of adaptive control techniques are presented. A novel form of modelling combining model swapping and RLSE adaptation to accommodate the patient variation seen with NMB drugs is introduced. A pilot study testing the NMBAS was undergone to prepare the NMBAS for application in a full clinical trial, in which patients undergoing prostate brachytherapy surgeries using rocuronium for intubation were admitted. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved


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