Letting the patient decide: A case report of self-administered sedation during mechanical ventilation

Breanna Hetland, Sarah Maryon Hayes, Debra J Skaar, Mary Fran Tracy, Craig R Weinert, Linda Chlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is common for critical care nurses to administer sedative medications to patients receiving mechanical ventilation. Although patient-controlled analgesia is frequently used in practice to promote effective selfmanagement of pain by patients, it is not known if patient-controlled sedation can be used to promote effective self-management of distressing symptoms associated with mechanical ventilation. A randomized pilot trial was conducted to evaluate whether patient self-administered sedation with dexmedetomidine is safe and acceptable for self-management of anxiety during ventilator support. This case report details the experiences of one patient enrolled in the pilot trial who was randomly assigned to the experimental dexmedetomidine intervention, completed the study protocol, and provided feedback. In a poststudy survey, the patient responded positively to the use of self-administered sedation with dexmedetomidine during ventilator support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-23
Number of pages7
JournalCritical care nurse
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Award 1R21 NR012795 from the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health, and by Hospira, Inc.


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