Sedative and analgesic medications: risk factors for delirium and sleep disturbances in the critically ill.

Division of Critical Care, Department of Anesthesiology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 324 MAB, 1313 21st Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37232, USA.
Critical Care Clinics (Impact Factor: 2.5). 05/2006; 22(2):313-27, vii. DOI: 10.1016/j.ccc.2006.02.010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sedatives and analgesics are routinely used in critically ill patients, although they have the potential for side effects, such as delirium and sleep architecture disruption. Although it should be emphasized that these medications are extremely important in providing patient comfort, health care professionals must also strive to achieve the right balance of sedative and analgesic administration through greater focus on reducing unnecessary or overzealous use. Ongoing clinical trials should help us to understand whether altering the delivery strategy, via daily sedation interruption, or protocolized target-based sedation or changing sedation paradigms to target different central nervous system receptors can affect cognitive outcomes and sleep preservation in our critically ill patients.

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