Emergency nurses practices in assessing and administering continuous intravenous sedation for critically ill adult patients: A retrospective record review'

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Emergency Nursing, 2015, 23 (2), pp. 81 - 88
Issue Date:
2015-01-01
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© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Aim: To generate an initial profile of emergency nurses' practices in and factors influencing the assessment and administration of continuous intravenous sedation and analgesia for critically ill mechanically ventilated adult patients. Background: Emergency nurses are relied upon to assess and manage critically ill patients, some of whom require continuous intravenous sedation. Balancing sedation is a highly complex activity. There is however little evidence relating to how emergency nurses manage continuous intravenous analgesia and sedation for the critically ill intubated patients. Design: Descriptive study. Method: A 12-month retrospective medical record review was undertaken from January to December 2009 of patients (>16 years) administered continuous intravenous sedation in ED. Results: Fifty-five patients received ongoing intravenous sedation within the ED during a median length of stay of 3.4 h. Assessment of patient depth/quality of sedation and pain-relief varied and were rarely documented. Adverse events were documented, majority (16%) drug administration related. Thematic analysis identified three themes: 'Maintaining sedation', 'Directionless-directions', and 'Navigating the balance'. Conclusion: Emergency nurses provide continuity of patient care and optimisation of analgesia and sedation for critically ill sedated patients. The safety and effectiveness of continuous intravenous sedation for the critically ill adult patient in ED are dependent on the expertise and decision-making abilities of the nurse.
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