This article summarizes the views of experts presented at a consensus conference on sedation assessment in critical care, including recommendations for future development of a sedation assessment scale.

In August 2002, a group of critical care experts (Figure 1) met in Nashville, Tenn, for a consensus conference on sedation assessment. The conference was made possible though a collaboration between the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN); Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Ill; and Saint Thomas Health System, Nashville, Tenn, and was designed to address the critical need for a valid and reliable scale for sedation assessment in critically ill patients. The collaboration was envisioned to be a 3-phase process:

The members of this expert panel were selected on the basis of their expertise in a variety of critical care areas and aspects of sedation to get a broad perspective...

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