"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead
Research Article

Current practices of mobilization, analgesia, relaxants and sedation in Indian ICUs: A survey conducted by the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine


Background and Aim:Use of sedation, analgesia and neuromuscular blocking agents is widely practiced in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Our aim is to study the current practice patterns related to mobilization, analgesia, relaxants and sedation (MARS) to help in standardizing best practices in these areas in the ICU.Materials and Methods:A web-based nationwide survey involving physicians of the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM) and the Indian Society of Anesthesiologists (ISA) was carried out. A questionnaire included questions on demographics, assessment scales for delirium, sedation and pain, as also the pharmacological agents and the practice methods.Results:Most ICUs function in a semi-closed model. Midazolam (94.99%) and Fentanyl (47.04%) were the most common sedative and analgesic agents used, respectively. Vecuronium was the preferred neuromuscular agent. Monitoring of sedation, analgesia and delirium in the ICU. Ramsay's Sedation Scale (56.1%) and Visual Analogue Scale (48.07%) were the preferred sedation and pain scales, respectively. CAM (Confusion Assessment Method)-ICU was the most preferred method of delirium assessment. Haloperidol was the most commonly used agent for delirium. Majority of the respondents were aware of the benefit of early mobilization, but lack of support staff and safety concerns were the main obstacles to its implementation.Conclusion:The results of the survey suggest that compliance with existing guidelines is low. Benzodiazepines still remain the predominant ICU sedative. The recommended practice of giving analgesia before sedation is almost non-existent. Delirium remains an underrecognized entity. Monitoring of sedation levels, analgesia and delirium is low and validated and recommended scales for the same are rarely used. Although awareness of the benefits of early mobilization are high, the implementation is low.