HealthDay News The level of sedation associated with the ability to follow voice commands seems to be higher than previously recommended, according to a study published online May 1 in the American Journal of Critical Care.

Caitlin Brown, PharmD, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues conducted a prospective, observational study to ascertain the Sedation-Agitation Scale and Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale scores that best describe patients’ ability to follow voice commands. Pairs of investigators assessed scores on the Sedation-Agitation Scale and Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale and the ability to follow four specific commands before and up to 2 hours after lightening of sedation.

Ninety-six assessments were performed among medical intensive care unit patients: 50 before and 46 after lightening of sedation. The researchers found that the scores best associated with ability to follow 3 or more commands were Sedation-Agitation Scale score of 4 and Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale score of −1 (positive predictive values of 0.88 and 0.81; likelihood ratios of 14.0 and 10.7, respectively); these were superior to the previously recommended thresholds of 3 and −3 on the Sedation-Agitation Scale and Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale, respectively (positive predictive values of 0.62 and 0.52; likelihood ratios of 3.1 and 2.0, respectively).


Continue Reading

“A consistent and better understanding of what light sedation really means may help us reliably target sedation levels associated with improved patient outcomes,” a coauthor said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text