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Susan Khera

Susan Khera chose to do clinical research in the ICU because it was there that the terminally ill patients could benefit from her research.  She not only had the chance to work with patients, but also to work towards a better clinical environment for them. Susan will attend Georgetown University Medical School and hopes to be an obstetrician-gynecologist.   She felt that research allowed her to practically apply what she learned in class, to communicate effectively with doctors, and to cultivate a deeper appreciation for all patients.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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The primary objective of this experiment was to determine if Bispectral Index (BIS), a multivariate discriminate analysis computed by an electroencephalography (EEG) machine, correlates with Ramsay Sedation Score (RSS), and if it is effective in measuring sedation in Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients.  This study was conducted in the surgical ICU at the Long Beach Veterans Administration Hospital.  We studied 30 consenting male adults who were receiving sedative drugs.  This was a non-invasive study employing continuous EEG monitoring of patients.  A four-channel EEG was recorded for 6 to 8 h using fronto-temporal electrode montage.  The BIS score computed by the EEG machine was recorded every half hour.  Response to verbal command was measured using RSS every half hour as well.  Linear regression analysis showed that BIS correlates well with RSS. BIS may be a more objective and sensitive technique than current methods used to monitor sedation of ICU patients.  BIS may be particularly useful in assessing sedation level of patients receiving muscle relaxants as well as patients on ventilators.triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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Faculty Mentor                                                                                                                
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Nitin Shah

College of Medicine

Monitoring any parameter is simple and objective if the monitor gives us a number that everybody can understand. Unfortunately, we do not have any monitor that can do that for assessing sedation levels in ICU patients, and hence the patients in ICU are either over- or under-sedated.  The only method available at present is the Ramsey Sedation Score (RSS), which is very subjective and observer-dependent.  Susan's project addresses this issue by examining Bispectral Index (BIS), which is the newest variable that converts EEG findings into numerical form and gives a number that can be interpreted easily.  It is a good idea to gain some experience in research as it can be fun, intellectually stimulating, and gives you some idea whether that is something you will like to do as you progress in your career. triangle.gif (504 bytes)

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