Sedation and Analgesia in ICU
Managing anxiety and agitation in the ICU
Following assessment of anxiety/agitation with an appropriate assessment tool, the following algorithm should help in providing a strategy for managing anxiety and agitation:
NB If at any point the patient is extremely anxious/agitated and there is a risk of harm to the patient or staff then sedative medication should be administered prior to completing your assessment of reversible causes.
Please also note that Delirium is an important, common condition in the ICU and should be considered in all those with anxiety and agitation. It's characteristics, intensive care unit assessment, management and implications are covered in the Delirium module.