Intensive care unit-acquired weakness: Risk factors and prevention


In this article the authors discuss the risk factors for and the prevention of intensive care unit-acquired weakness.  Five main risk factors for  intensive care unit-acquired weakness have been identified. These include multiple organ failure, muscle inactivity, hyperglycemia, and use of corticosteroids and neuromuscular blockers. The authors point out that although strong evidence regarding the efficacy of preventive measures is still lacking, the results of available studies are promising and cast doubt on the widespread belief that the treatment of intensive care unit-acquired weakness is essentially supportive.  Preventative measures to reduce the incidence and or severity of intensive care unit acquired weakness include early identifying and treating of conditions leading to multiple organ failure, avoiding unnecessary deep sedation and excessive blood glucose levels, promoting early mobilization, and weighing the risks and benefits of corticosteroids. 

de Jonghe, B., Lacherade, J-C., Sharshar, T., Outin, H. CRITICAL CARE MEDICINE 2009; 37 (10): S309-315