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Sedation of the Mechanically Ventilated Patient

Yagan, Mark B. MD; White, Debbie RN, MSN; Staab, Janet RN, MSN

Critical Care Nursing Quarterly: February 2000 - Volume 22 - Issue 4 - p 90–100
Monitoring Pharmacological Therapy

Goals in the care of the mechanically ventilated patient are sedation, analgesia, anxiolysis, and muscle relaxation. Causes of distress in these patients include: pain, sleep deprivation, anxiety, psychosis, agitation, and delirium. Drugs used to alleviate these stressors are opiates, benzodiazepines, neuromuscular blocking agents, anesthetic induction agents, and inhalational agents. When caring for the agitated patient on the mechanical ventilator, physiologic, mechanical, and emotional causes must all be investigated. Finally, nonpharmacologic therapy is of utmost importance in the care of these patients.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary/Critical Care, University of Missouri-Kansas City, School of Medicine (Yagan)

Nurse Manager, Coronary Care Unit, St. Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri (White)

Clinical Resource Nurse, Coronary Care Unit, St. Luke's Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri (Staab)

Copyright © 2000 by Aspen Publishers, Inc.