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Table 1 The Sedation–Agitation Scale

From: Remifentanil versus fentanyl for analgesia based sedation to provide patient comfort in the intensive care unit: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial [ISRCTN43755713]

Score Description Example
7 Dangerous agitation Pulling at endotracheal tube, trying to remove catheters, climbing over bedrails, thrashing from side to side, striking at staff
6 Very agitated Patient does not calm down in response to verbal instructions or reassurance, requires physical restraint, biting endotracheal tube
5 Agitated Anxious or agitated but calms down in response to verbal instructions or reassurance
4 Calm, cooperative Calm, easily rousable, follows commands
3 Sedated Difficult to rouse, awakens to verbal stimuli or gentle shaking but drifts off again, will follow simple commands
2 Very sedated Can be roused by physical stimuli but does not communicate or follow commands, may move spontaneously
1 Not rousable May move or grimace minimally to stimuli but does not communicate or follow commands