Use of continuous bispectral EEG monitoring to assess depth of sedation in ICU patients
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Monitoring the depth of sedation in patients under intensive care is difficult. Clinical assessment by the different scoring systems produces insufficient information, especially once deeply sedated patients become unresponsive to any external stimulation. Recently, the bispectral index (BIS), the result of computerized bispectral electroencephalographic monitoring, was found to be the best predictor of depth of anaesthesia during surgical intervention. This report concerns BIS monitoring in 18 randomly selected, deeply sedated, surgical patients in the intensive care unit, who were unresponsive to standard clinical stimulation (Ramsay sedation score). A wide range of BIS was observed, with 15 of the patients having a BIS below 60, indicating a state of deep sedation (or possibly oversedation). Therefore, further studies using BIS monitoring in patients under intensive care are needed to determine if this method can guide sedation and prevent oversedation in this context and, most importantly, to analyse its final cost – benefit ratio.
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