Critically ill patients who are receiving mechanical ventilation (MV) often receive sedative medications; however, adverse outcomes such as delirium, increased ventilator time, and negative psychological effects have been associated with use of sedative medications. Published guidelines recommend sedative use to maintain “light levels” of patient sedation, but adherence to such protocols is low in actual practice.

Guttormson and colleagues surveyed critical care nurses to explore their practices and attitudes toward the administration of sedative medications. They found the following:

Although fewer nurses believe that sedation is required for all MV patients than 10 years ago, the findings highlight the need to focus on nurses’ attitudes in sedation care and ways to integrate targeted treatment of patients’ symptoms into practice.

See Article, pp 255–263

Mobilizing patients during a critical care hospitalization reduces stays in the intensive care unit (ICU) and in the hospital...

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