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Revista Brasileira de Terapia Intensiva

Print version ISSN 0103-507X


COSTA, Jaquilene Barreto da et al. Sedation and memories of patients subjected to mechanical ventilation in an intensive care unit. Rev. bras. ter. intensiva [online]. 2014, vol.26, n.2, pp.122-129. ISSN 0103-507X.


To investigate the relationship between sedation and the memories reported by patients subjected to mechanical ventilation following discharge from the intensive care unit.


This prospective, observational, cohort study was conducted with individuals subjected to mechanical ventilation who remained in the intensive care unit for more than 24 hours. Clinical statistics and sedation records were extracted from the participants' clinical records; the data relative to the participants' memories were collected using a specific validated instrument. Assessment was performed three months after discharge from the intensive care unit.


A total of 128 individuals were assessed, most of whom (84.4%) reported recollections from their stay in the intensive care unit as predominantly a combination of real and illusory events. The participants subjected to sedation (67.2%) at deep levels (Richmond Agitation-Sedation Scale [RASS] -4 and -5) for more than two days and those with psychomotor agitation (33.6%) exhibited greater susceptibility to occurrence of illusory memories (p>0.001).


The probability of the occurrence of illusory memories was greater among the participants who were subjected to deep sedation. Sedation seems to be an additional factor that contributed to the occurrence of illusory memories in severely ill individuals subjected to mechanical ventilation.

Keywords : Memory; Amnesia; Deep sedation; Adult; Intensive care units.

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