The article : Changing the Sedation Status Quo in the ICU was very interesting to me because it talks about how hospitals are adopting new policies that limit the amount of time a patient is sedated in the ICU. The new treatment methods would allow patients to be awakened from sedation to assess for pain and removing them from a ventilator as soon as possible. A growing body of research suggests that patients who are heavily sedated in the ICU are suffering from prolonged delirium. This can have long term effects on cognitive function long after the patient leaves the hospital (Landro, 2011).
Hospitals began rethinking the standard of care in the early 1990s, when patients reported suffering from depression, stress and extreme physical limitations linked to therapy they had received in the ICU (Landro, 2011). Studies conducted by Vanderbilt University show that new monitoring techniques will shorten the duration of delirium by decreasing the amount of potent sedatives a patient receives. Research from John Hopkin’s University shows that getting patients up and moving even when still on a ventilator can also prevent the muscle weakness that results when patients lose conditioning from misuse and the body becomes frail. Hospitals now plan to use milder sedation medication and to wean patients off as soon as possible and not put them back under. This will help patients to go home sooner and avoid having to go to a rehabilitation center.
I agree with this article, I think that it is not healthy to have patients sedated for a prolonged amount of time. If there is a way to get them moving sooner I think this would be beneficial for circulation, skin care, and oxygenation. However the research presented here also shows that in addition to the physical reasons there are also psychological reasons to wean patients from section sooner rather than later. Before reading this article and watching the videos, I had no idea that patients were experiencing delirium while sedated in the ICU. Furthermore it is also very concerning to see how the delirium they experienced in the ICU can affect their lives even months to years afterward. Some patients experience PTSD or depression that interferes with their daily lives. I think that if the amount of time a patient can be sedated can be shortened, and they can be ambulated sooner this will be therapeutic for the patient and will help them to recover sooner.
I think that the next step is to implement this practice in more hospitals by training ICU doctors and nurses. Educating healthcare professionals about delirium will help patients to get the support they need sooner.
Landro, L. (2011, February 15). Informed Patient: Changing the Sedation Status Quo in the ICU. Retrieved September 24, 2015, from http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2011/02/15/changing-the-sedation-status-quo-in-the-icu/