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J Palliat Med. 2019 Oct;22(10):1289-1292. doi: 10.1089/jpm.2018.0516. Epub 2019 May 6.

Use of Continuous Dexmedetomidine at Home for Nearly Three Years in a Young Woman with End-Stage Cyanotic Congenital Heart Disease and Cyclic Vomiting.

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Division of Palliative Care, Department of Anesthesia, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.


A 14-year-old girl with a history of complex congenital heart disease in end-stage heart failure and with cyclic vomiting was admitted to our hospice program in 2012. Before hospice enrollment, she had required intermittent infusions of dexmedetomidine to abort cyclic vomiting episodes after cardiac catheterization procedures. Following a hospital admission in November 2013, she was discharged home in the care of our hospice on a continuous dexmedetomidine infusion. She remained on this infusion at varying doses (range of 0.1-0.38 mcg/kg/hour) for nearly three years, until her death in September 2016. This report describes the palliative use of dexmedetomidine in this patient and difficulties related to the use of this medication during the course of her care.


cyclic vomiting; dexmedetomidine; home-based hospice and palliative care; pediatric hospice care; pediatric palliative care


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