Responses to noxious stimuli in sedated mechanically ventilatedadults

Mary Jo Grap, Cindy L. Munro, Paul A. Wetzel, Jessica M. Ketchum, V. Anne Hamilton, Curtis N. Sessler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the effect of sedation on physiologic responses and comfort before, during and after a noxious stimulus (endotracheal tube suctioning). Methods: The sample was a subset of a larger, longitudinal descriptive study, blood for endorphins and saliva for alpha-amylase were obtained before and after suctioning. Heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR), oxygen saturation (SPO2), and arm and leg actigraphy were continuously recorded. Results: 67 subjects from medical and surgical ICUs were primarily deeply (37%) or mildly sedated (54%) prior to suctioning. Alpha-amylase increased post suctioning (p=0.04); endorphins did not change (p=0.58). Neither were modified by sedation. There were no changes in HR, RR or SPO2 post suctioning. Arm (p=0.007) and leg actigraphy (p=0.057) changed from baseline and depended on sedation level (p=0.0005). Conclusions: While a stress marker did increase during suctioning, only the measure of patient arm movement was significantly affected by sedation level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalHeart and Lung: Journal of Acute and Critical Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Evaluation
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Outcomes
  • Sedation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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