Pharmacist-led protocols could improve patient sedation outcomes

Researchers found patients have worse outcomes when put under early deep sedation in the intensive care unit, but pharmacist-led protocols could help.

The retrospective study, conducted from March to August 2020 and published in Critical Care, found that of 391 patients studied, 72.4 percent experienced early deep sedation. Deep sedation patients experienced fewer ventilator-, ICU- and hospital-free days, and 30.4 percent mortality compared with 11.1 percent mortality for light sedation.

Pharmacist-led ICU protocols can improve sedation optimization, Benjamin Hohlfelder, PharmD, a critical care pharmacy clinical specialist at Cleveland Clinic, said in an article on Pharmacy Practice News.

The Society of Critical Care Medicine's "2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Pain, Agitation/Sedation, Delirium, Immobility, and Sleep Disruption in Adult Patients in the ICU" suggest ways to achieve and maintain a light level of sedation through daily sedation interruption protocols and nursing-protocolized targeted sedation.

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