Dexmedetomidine for Sedation in Acute Neurologic Disease
Critically Ill patients with acute neurologic disease are managed daily in the ED.
Due to the need for frequent neurologic assessments, these patients can be challenging should they require sedation.
Dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha-2 adrenergic receptor agonist, has emerged as an alternative to traditional sedatives (i.e. opioids and benzodiazepines).
Dexmedetomidine provides sedation and anxiolysis, while producing little effect on level of arousal and cognitive function. In essence, it reduces discomfort while permitting the patient to arouse for a neurologic examination.
Mirski MA, Lewin JL. Sedation and analgesia in acute neurologic disease. Curr Opin Crit Care 2010; 16:81-91