Locked-in syndrome is an extremely rare neurological state caused by injury of the ventral pons. The syndrome is characterized by quadriplegia and anarthria with concomitant preservation of cortical function. When a reversible underlying pathological abnormality is identified and managed aggressively, meaningful recovery is possible. Because patients retain consciousness throughout their illness, a dependable method for titrating sedation may improve their quality of life. The case presented suggests that bispectral index monitoring may be a cost-effective and reliable method for managing sedation in patients with locked-in syndrome.
©2011 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses