Can J Anaesth. 2012 Jan;59(1):105-8. doi: 10.1007/s12630-011-9615-2. Epub 2011 Nov 1.
CONCLUSIONS: Treatment in early severe ARDS with the NMBA, cisatracurium, for 48 hr was associated with lower adjusted 90-day mortality. It was also associated with decreased morbidity, which included increased ventilator-free days, increased ICU-free days, and increased organ failure-free days. These benefits occurred without increasing the incidence of ICU-acquired weakness.
Sedation is used almost universally in the care of critically ill patients, especially in those who require mechanical ventilatory support or other life-saving invasive procedures. This review will focus on the sedation strategies for critically ill patients and the pharmacology of commonly used sedative agents. The role of neuromuscular blocking agents in the ICU will be examined and the pharmacology of commonly used agents is reviewed. Finally a strategy for rational use of these sedative and neuromuscular blocking agents in critically ill patients will be proposed.