, Volume 35, Issue 1, pp 1-3
Date: 23 Oct 2008

Building consensus on ICU-acquired weakness

This is an excerpt from the content

ICU-acquired weakness may begin within hours of mechanical ventilation [1], may affect patient management and outcome during the ICU stay [2, 3] and may contribute to functional disability for years after hospital discharge [4, 5]. In many ways, it has been one of the most profound and relatively invisible legacies of critical illness until fairly recently. At present, there are a number of barriers that thwart our attempt to study this clinical entity. There is no consensus on risk factors or modifiers, how and when it should be diagnosed, how to name and categorize these nerve and muscle lesions according to the severity or heterogeneity and limited data on very long-term outcome. In light of these limitations, it is unclear how to risk stratify for this dysfunction and this impairs our ability to tailor specific interventions with appropriate timing and intensity during the recovery continuum.

In this issue of Intensive Care Medicine, Hough et al. contribute important new observation

This editorial refers to the article available at: doi:10.1007/s00134-008-1304-4.