New education campaign seeks to promote better sedation management in the ICU
Boulder, COLO. - Covidien, a leading global provider of healthcare products and recognized innovator in patient monitoring and respiratory care devices, today announced a new campaign to help medical professionals become more aware of oversedation and its effect on patient outcomes.
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As many as 71 percent of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) show signs of agitation at least once during their hospitalization.1 To ease distress, medical professionals may sedate patients, particularly those on mechanical ventilation, to make them more comfortable during breath support and other interventions. Unfortunately, oversedation also can extend the length of time the patient is on a ventilator1 as well as increase the risk of complications. 2
The Importance of Sedation Management
In many cases, a stay in the ICU can be a very unsettling and uncomfortable experience.3-6 Patients who are on ventilators cannot easily communicate, are often hooked up to machines that provide life-sustaining support and are dependent on clinicians to attend to their care and comfort.
These factors contribute to the large number of ICU patients who show signs of agitation. Out of compassion, physicians often prescribe sedation to calm these patients.1, 7 However, a growing body of research has confirmed a strong link between oversedation and poor patient outcomes.1
"We are now understanding that there are consequences from prolonged oversedation, including things like more delirium, more long-term cognitive impairments and post-traumatic stress disorder," said Richard Riker, M.D., Director, Critical Care Research Maine Medical Center. "The long-term outcomes are so much better if we can avoid deep sedation for our patients."
Complications from oversedation can also lead to the overtaxing of ICU personnel and equipment. Better sedation management will help ensure that ICU resources are more readily available for incoming critical patients. By appropriately managing patient discomfort and carefully considering when and why sedation is used, unnecessary sedation may be avoided.6
How Covidien is Educating Clinicians
Covidien provides clinicians access to the tools they need, including clinical education, research and advanced technology, to help manage sedation in patients more effectively. An online sedation management resource site houses education and training to help clinicians manage sedation for ventilated patients.