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Online ISSN 1827-1596
SMART 2006 - Milan, May 10-12, 2006
Carli F., Mistraletti G.
Department of Anaesthesia McGill University Health Centre Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Metabolically critical illness can be divided in two phases, acute and prolonged. Whereas the acute or hypermetabolic phase is characterized by elevated circulating concentration of catabolic hormones and substrate utilization to provide energy to vital organs, the prolonged or catabolic phase of critical illness is marked by reduced endocrine stimulation and severe loss of body cell mass. The most common analgesic and sedative agents used in the intensive care unit, if used in small or moderate doses, do not interfere significantly with the metabolic milieu; however, prolonged infusions, and in high doses, without adequate monitoring of level of sedation and quality of analgesia, can precipitate morbid events. Further research is needed in the metabolic aspects of analgesia and sedation in the intensive care unit, particularly if a multimodal pharmacologic strategy is used whereby multiple interventions aim at minimizing the risk of overdosing and contributing to attenuation of the stress response associated with critical illness.