agitation, analgesia, anxiolysis, benzodiazepines, mechanical ventilator, neuromuscular blockade, opiates, sedation



  1. Yagan, Mark B. MD
  2. White, Debbie RN, MSN
  3. Staab, Janet RN, MSN


Goals in the care of the mechanically ventilated patient are sedation, analgesia, anxiolysis, and muscle relaxation. Causes of distress in these patients include: pain, sleep deprivation, anxiety, psychosis, agitation, and delirium. Drugs used to alleviate these stressors are opiates, benzodiazepines, neuromuscular blocking agents, anesthetic induction agents, and inhalational agents. When caring for the agitated patient on the mechanical ventilator, physiologic, mechanical, and emotional causes must all be investigated. Finally, nonpharmacologic therapy is of utmost importance in the care of these patients.