Pressor therapy

Dopamine is the most commonly used pressor agent, given by continuous intravenous infusion. The dose should be titrated to the desired haemodynamic and renal responses (usually initially between 2 and 5 micrograms/kg/min, but this can be increased to over 20 micrograms/kg/min in severe hypotension). Dopamine should be given into a large vein as extravasation causes tissue necrosis. ECG monitoring is required, as conduction defects may occur, and particular care is needed in dosing in the presence of cardiac failure.

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