Evaluating and Monitoring Sedation, Arousal, and Agitation in the ICU.

Link to article at PubMed

Evaluating and Monitoring Sedation, Arousal, and Agitation in the ICU.

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2013 Apr;34(2):169-178

Authors: Sessler CN, Riker RR, Ramsay MA

Optimal management of patient comfort and sedative drug therapy for intensive care unit (ICU) patients includes establishing a goal of therapy-often defined by a desired level of consciousness, with titration of medications to achieve this target. An assessment of the level of consciousness is best performed using a simple tool, such as a sedation scale that relies on observation of the patient to assign a level of conscious that ranges from alert to unarousable. Many sedation scales incorporate observation of the patient's response to stimulation, which typically escalates from simply calling the patient's name to physical stimulation. Many such tools also incorporate an assessment of the presence and intensity of agitated behavior. Implementation of sedation scales has been associated with improved outcomes, and the frequent assessment of level of consciousness using a sedation scale is strongly recommended in clinical practice guidelines. Further, selection of a sedation scale that has been demonstrated to be valid and reliable in your patient population is endorsed. Objective measures of consciousness, such as devices that use processed electroencephalography, are less well established for routine ICU management and are recommended only for selected situations.

PMID: 23716308 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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