Sedation and analgesia in the ICU

Semin Pediatr Surg. 2015 Feb;24(1):37-46. doi: 10.1053/j.sempedsurg.2014.11.011. Epub 2014 Nov 8.


The alleviation of pain and anxiety is an important component of caring for a critically ill child. Sedation and analgesia regimens are utilized as adjuncts to procedures, facilitate mechanical ventilation, and assist with management of a critically ill child. Although sedation regimens have been used extensively across intensive care units, the data are lacking as to the best drugs, dosing, regimens, and short- and long-term safety profiles for use in the pediatric population. Sedation regimens continue to be a challenging aspect of the care of a critically ill child, and they have been associated with significant morbidity in this population. This article will discuss the sedative use in the intensive care unit, morbidity associated with sedatives and analgesics, and the importance of establishing sedation and analgesia algorithms to reduce morbidity and mortality.

Keywords: Analgesia; Intensive care; Morbidity; Sedation.

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Analgesia*
  • Child
  • Critical Illness
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Pain / drug therapy*


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives