Health care practitioners must provide effective sedation and analgesia management for patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). These patients require adequate sedation and analgesia because many factors in the ICU can cause them to experience stress, anxiety, and pain, including underlying medical conditions, acute medical or surgical illness, invasive interventions, and environmental influences. Practitioners can mitigate these factors with appropriate sedation and analgesia therapy.

Clinicians should first assess and control patients’ pain and then assess and control their anxiety through appropriate sedation therapy. Although assessment of pain control has improved in health care, the incidence of pain is still considered to be as high as 50% in medical and surgical ICU patients. After initiating an analgesia and sedation regimen, clinicians should assess the effectiveness of these regimens using validated scales. Patient-focused scales are designed to achieve adequate sedation and pain...

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