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July 26, 2000

Measuring Level of Sedation in the Intensive Care Unit

Author Affiliations

Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;284(4):441-442. doi:10.1001/jama.284.4.436

To the Editor: Dr Ostermann and colleagues1 reviewed 49 randomized controlled trials of sedation agents administered to patients in intensive care units. Only 32 of these 49 trials met the basic criteria for inclusion in their review. Thirty of these selected trials used a sedation scale to target the sedation delivery, and only 50% of the trials had patients at the prescribed sedation level for more than 50% of the time. Most critical care units still do not use protocols that include a sedation scoring system,2 and it would seem that from this article even the units that do use them do not aggressively use a reassessment protocol and adjust the sedation to the level prescribed.

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