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Identifying, evaluating, and treating underlying pain can be an important component of effective sedation management protocols.1 Pain, both procedural and at rest, is experienced by most patients in the ICU,1 potentially contributing to their overall levels of stress and anxiety.1 Effective management of pain may not only increase patient comfort by reducing pain but also by reducing the additional factors that can lead to oversedation.1

In addition, protocolized pain assessment has been associated with reduced use of analgesics, reduced ICU length of stay, and reduced mechanical ventilation,1 which can all add up to improved patient outcomes.1

In this video, leading ICU clinicians discuss pain in the ICU, and why they think evaluating pain is so important for their patients.

By evaluating pain, clinicians may be able to reduce the risk of oversedation.1 By using sedation more effectively, we can work together to potentially reduce ICU ventilation time.

  1. Barr J, Fraser GL, Puntillo K, et al; American College of Critical Care Medicine. Clinical practice guidelines for the management of pain, agitation, and delirium in adult patients in the intensive care unit. Crit Care Med. 2013;41(1):263-306.