The ABCDEF Bundle in Critical Care

Crit Care Clin. 2017 Apr;33(2):225-243. doi: 10.1016/j.ccc.2016.12.005.


The ABCDEF bundle represents an evidence-based guide for clinicians to approach the organizational changes needed for optimizing intensive care unit patient recovery and outcomes. This article reviews the core evidence and features behind the ABCDEF bundle. The bundle has individual components that are clearly defined, flexible to implement, and help empower multidisciplinary clinicians and families in the shared care of the critically ill. The ABCDEF bundle helps guide well-rounded patient care and optimal resource utilization resulting in more interactive intensive care unit patients with better controlled pain, who can safely participate in higher-order physical and cognitive activities at the earliest point in their critical illness.

Keywords: Analgesia; Delirium; Early mobility; Intensive care unit; Pain; Sedation; Spontaneous awakening trials; Spontaneous breathing trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Care / methods*
  • Critical Illness / therapy
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units / standards
  • Patient Care Bundles* / methods
  • Patient Care Team