ICU neuromuscular disorders

Neuromuscular disorders in the critically ill have long been recognised, particularly in those being mechanically ventilated. First suspicions are often raised when patients fail to wean from mechanical ventilation or limb weakness is noted on stopping sedation. Disuse atrophy, catabolic states and drug therapy (e.g. high dose steroids, muscle relaxants) are probably responsible for some cases but do not explain all. A neuromyopathic component of multi-organ dysfunction syndrome may be implicated.

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