Critical Care and Shock

The use of dexmedetomidine for refractory agitation in substance abuse patient

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In the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), patients are vulnerable to develop psychomotor disturbances with increase in both motor and psychological activities, often accompanied by loss of action control and disorganization of thought. Various terms have been used including agitation, anxiety and delirium. (1) Predisposing factors such as alcohol and substance abuse, male gender, advancing age, dementia and sensory impairment can further aggravate the symptoms. (1-3) It is a recognized problem that may complicate patients’ recovery and until now remain a challenging issue as it is difficult to diagnose and treat.