Seizing the Opportunity: Exploring Barriers to Use of Transmucosal Midazolam in Hospice Patients

Academic Article


  • Background: Status epilepticus seizures are distressing events for hospice and palliative care patients. Currently, rectal diazepam is the only abortive therapy approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for seizures occurring out of hospital. However, transmucosal (buccal and intranasal) midazolam hydrochloride is a less expensive, equally effective, and a more socially acceptable alternative. Objective: To explore the use of transmucosal midazolam in out-of-hospital hospice patients in the State of Alabama. Design: A cross-sectional survey was used explore hospice providers' knowledge and use of transmucosal midazolam in clinical practice within Alabama. Setting Subjects: Hospice providers (physicians, nurses, and administrators) in the State of Alabama (n = 27). Measurements: An electronic survey was used to elicit transmucosal midazolam use among hospice providers. Results: Transmucosal midazolam has been documented throughout the literature and reported by expert clinicians as an efficacious, safe, and appropriate pharmaceutical intervention for the abortive treatment of seizures in adult and pediatric out-of-hospital patients. However, barriers to the use of transmucosal midazolam with hospice patients included unfamiliarity with transmucosal route and lack of provider orders. None of the participants reported transmucosal midazolam use in out-of-hospital hospice settings. Conclusion: Evidence in the literature supports the use of transmucosal midazolam; however, further research is necessary to understand and address barriers in a more diverse and generalizable population.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Perna SJ; Rhinewalt JM; Currie ER
  • Start Page

  • 674
  • End Page

  • 677
  • Volume

  • 21
  • Issue

  • 5