Monitoring sedation

Frequent, objective reassessment of sedation depth with corresponding adjustment of infusion doses is necessary to avoid severe cardiovascular and respiratory depression. Simple sedation scores are available to aid assessment.

UCL Hospitals Sedation Score

Agitated and restless

+ 3

Awake and uncomfortable

+ 2

Aware but calm

+ 1

Roused by voice, remains calm


Roused by movement


Roused by painful or noxious stimuli




Natural sleep


Sedation doses are adjusted to achieve a score as close as possible to 0. Positive scores require increased sedation doses and negative scores require reduced sedation doses.

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