Critical Care Pharmacology

Table of Contents

Lesson 1: Patient Safety in Critical Care Drug Administration

The five steps of medication reconciliation
Contributing factors to medication errors
The six rights of medication administration
Communicating and providing culturally competent care
Creating a culture of safety

Lesson 2: Introduction to Pharmacology Principles Part 1: Pharmacokinetics

Four phases of pharmacokinetics: absorption, distribution, metabolism, elimination
Factors affecting pharmacokinetics
Routes of administration and factors affecting each route

Lesson 3: Introduction to Pharmacology Principles Part II: Pharmacodynamics

Role of drugs as agonists or antagonists
Therapeutic windows and time to elimination (half-life)
Titrating intravenous infusions and titration protocols
Adverse drug effects

Lesson 4: Vasoactive Drugs

Understanding sepsis and its management
Vasopressors and physiologic actions
Monitoring tissue oxygenation
Vasodilator drugs and physiologic actions
Assessing, monitoring and management of patients with acute head injury

Lesson 5: Antidysrhythmic Drugs

Four phases of the cardiac conduction cycle
Cardiac hypoxia and dysrhythmia development
Classes of antidysrhythmic drugs and adverse effects
Management of atrial fibrillation

Lesson 6: Drugs for Pain and Sedation

Understanding the physiology of pain
Acute vs. chronic pain
Pain assessment, pain scales and pain management
Opioid drugs and adverse effects
Benzodiazepines and adverse effects
Sedation needs in critical care – assessment, monitoring and use of sedation scales

Lesson 7: Paralytic Drugs

Nondepolarizing and depolarizing neuromuscular blockers
Indications and goals for neuromuscular blockade
Neuromuscular blockade for special populations
Drug interactions with neuromuscular blockers
Monitoring and discontinuing therapeutic paralysis
Nursing management of the patient with therapeutic paralysis
Complications of therapeutic paralysis

Lesson 8: Blood and Blood Products

Volume replacement with crystalloids and colloids
Blood composition
Transfusion products
ABO Groups and Rh Factor and significance of each
Process of transfusion and AABB standards
Transfusion reactions 


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