Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Middle East J Anaesthesiol. 2007 Jun;19(2):429-47.

Changing sedation practices in the intensive care unit--protocol implementation, multifaceted multidisciplinary approach and teamwork.

Author information

Intensive Care Department, King Abdulaziz Medical City, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University, Riyadh, 11426, Saudi Arabia.



Sedation protocols have demonstrated effectiveness in improving ICU sedation practices. However, the importance of multifaceted multidisciplinary approach on the success of such protocols has not been fully examined.


The study was conducted in a tertiary care medical-surgical ICU as a prospective, 4-pronged, observational study describing a quality improvement initiative that employs 2 types of controlled comparisons: a "before and after" comparison related to intense education of ICU clinicians and nurses about sedation and analgesia in the ICU, and a comparison of protocolized versus non-protocolized care. Patients were assigned alternatively to receive sedation by a goal-directed protocol using the Riker Sedation-Agitation Scale (SAS) or by standard practice. A multifaceted multidisciplinary educational program was initiated including the use of point of use reminders, directed educational efforts, and opinion leaders. This included several lectures and in-services and the routine availability of at least one member of this group to answer questions. We included all consecutive patients receiving mechanical ventilation, who were judged by their treating team to require intravenous sedation.


The following data was collected: demographics, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation (APACHE) II score and Simplified Acute Physiology score (SAPS) II, daily doses of analgesics and sedatives, duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU length of stay (LOS) and ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) incidence. To examine the effect of the multifaceted multidisciplinary approach, we compared the first 3 months to the second 3 months in the following 4 groups: G1 no protocol group in the first 3 months, G2 protocol group in first 3 months, G3 no protocol group in the second 3 months, G4 protocol group in the second 3 months. After ICU day 3, SAS in the groups G2, G3 and G4 became higher than in G1 reflecting "lighter" levels of sedation. There were significant reductions in the use of analgesics and sedatives in the protocol group after 3 months. This was associated with a reduction in VAP rate and trends towards shorter mechanical ventilation duration and hospital length of stay (LOS).


The implementation of a multifaceted multidisciplinary approach including the use of point of use reminders, directed educational efforts, and opinion leaders along with sedation protocol led to significant changes in sedation practices and improvement in patients' outcomes. Such approach appears to be critical for the success of ICU sedation protocol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Support Center