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ICU Liberation: The Power of Pain Control, Minimal Sedation, and Early Mobility

By Kelly McCutcheon Adams | Thursday, August 6, 2015

A new book on ICU liberation provides some practical guidance for frontline staff to help get ICU patients mobile and wean them off of sedation earlier. IHI Director Kelly McCutcheon Adams, who co-authored a chapter in the book based on IHI’s work in this area, briefly describes the book’s contents.


It was a delight, albeit a daunting one, to receive an invitation to write a chapter for the new Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM) book, ICU Liberation: The Power of Pain Control, Minimal Sedation, and Early Mobility. This invitation gave me a chance to work with my long-time mentor and IHI Vice President, Andrea Kabcenell, on co-authoring a chapter called “Implementing Standardized Processes: Why and How?” Writing the chapter also allowed me to work with beloved IHI faculty member Dr. Terry Clemmer, one of the book’s editors.

Topics covered in the book include how to perform a gap analysis, delirium in the ICU, the need for sleep, and ventilator strategies, among others. I encourage you to review the two freely available sample chapters:

Sample Chapter: Why Sedation Liberation and ICU Mobility Are Important in Outcomes and Costs

Sample Chapter: Liberating ICU Patients from Deep Sedation and Mechanical Ventilation—An Overview of Best Practices

I am grateful that SCCM has so thoroughly and practically tackled topics that are dear to me — and so important for patients. Clinicians and leaders will find the book’s many approaches to the challenges of pain control, sedation, and mobility instructive and inspiring.

And, for those who want to learn more about my interest in this work, I invite you to read the blog I wrote earlier this year.

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