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Trajectory of sedation assessment and sedative use in intubated and ventilated patients in intensive care: a clinical audit

journal contribution
posted on 2016-09-01, 00:00 authored by Elizabeth ManiasElizabeth Manias, N Ho, S Kusljic
Background: Sedation is crucial for the recovery of patients in intensive care units (ICUs). Maintaining comfort and safety promotes optimal care for critically ill patients. Purpose: To examine sedation assessment and management undertaken by health professionals for mechanically ventilated patients in one Australian ICU. Methods: A retrospective clinical audit was undertaken of medical records of all eligible, mechanically ventilated patients admitted to an ICU of an Australian metropolitan, teaching hospital over a 12-month period. A Sedation Audit Tool was used to collect data from the day of intubation to 5 days after intubation. Findings: Data were extracted from medical records of 150 patients. The Riker Sedation-Agitation Scale (SAS) was the scoring system used. Patients were unarousable or very sedated between 57% and 81% at some point during the study period, while between 5% and 11% were agitated, very agitated or extremely agitated across this time. Patients' sedation scores were not documented in between 3.3% and 23.3% of patients. Medications commonly used were propofol, midazolam, morphine, and fentanyl. There were 135 situations of adverse events, which related to patients pulling endotracheal tubes leading to malpositioning, patients biting endotracheal tubes causing desaturation, patient experiencing excessive agitation requiring restraint use, patients experiencing increased intracranial pressure above desired limits, patients self-extubating, and patients experiencing over-drowsiness leading to delays in extubation. Conclusions: Many patients were either very sedated or agitated at some point during the study period, and some patients experienced adverse outcomes associated with sedation practices. The findings inform future quality initiatives to improve sedation practices.









275 - 284




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

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2015, Australian College of Nursing