Why is clonidine sedating
There are many clinical scoring systems in use within the UK; examples include the Ramsay, Addenbrookes, and the Bloomsbury scales (Table 1).
Each of these gives a quantitative score to a clinical finding in the awake or asleep state.
The replacement of an endotracheal tube by a tracheostomy reduces the discomfort associated with an artificial airway and may often remove the need for sedation entirely.
Many of the currently used agents have specific drawbacks that limit their practical utility along the full spectrum of patients and clinical situations that intensivists face every day.
The discovery that clonidine has an opioid sparing property and attenuated withdrawal symptoms, sparked further interest in the use of alpha - 2 (α2) agonists as intravenous (IV) sedatives.
Concerns with clinical scoring systems include interpreter variability and a lack of clear discrimination between deeper levels of sedation.
Ensuring patient comfort requires a multidisciplinary approach in addition to pharmacotherapy.