Editorial |

A New Era for Sedation in ICU Patients

Hannah Wunsch, MD, MSc; John P. Kress, MD
JAMA. 2009;301(5):542-544. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.24.
Text Size: A A A
Published online


Critically ill patients frequently require invasive monitoring and other support that can lead to anxiety, agitation, and pain.1 Use of sedation is essential for the comfort and safety of these patients. Options for sedation in the intensive care unit (ICU) are limited, with benzodiazepines and propofol the most common choices.2,3 In the past, these agents were generally used to keep patients motionless and to reduce memory of their experience in the ICU. However, recognition that heavy sedation may increase mortality and morbidity has led to a new model in which the emphasis is on maximizing the comfort of these patients while they remain interactive, oriented, and able to follow instructions.4 This new model relies on strategies such as daily interruptions of sedation,5 use of scores such as the Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale to maintain target sedation level,6 and minimizing the use of paralytic agents.7

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

First Page Preview

View Large
First page PDF preview




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Web of Science® Times Cited: 16

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
Related Topics
PubMed Articles