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ICU Liberation

The ICU Liberation campaign aims to liberate patients from the harmful effects of an intensive care unit stay. 

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The Society of Critical Care Medicine's (SCCM) ICU Liberation campaign aiICU Liberation Resultsms to liberate patients from the harmful effects of pain, agitation/sedation, delirium, immobility, and sleep disruption (PADIS) in the intensive care unit (ICU).

ICU Liberation provides evidence-based strategies for the entire multiprofessional critical care team that have been shown to improve outcomes for patients and reduce costs for hospitals, while transforming ICU culture. 

Among the harmful effects possible is post-intensive care syndrome (PICS), defined as new or increased physical, cognitive, or mental health impairment in a patient after hospitalization in an intensive care unit.

Through the 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Pain, Agitation/Sedation, Delirium, Immobility, and Sleep Disruption in Adult Patients in the ICU, known as the PADIS Guidelines, and the ICU Liberation Bundle (A-F), the ICU Liberation campaign seeks to empower the multiprofessional team to provide care that can improve outcomes for patients after they leave the ICU.

Studies have shown that implementing ventilator weaning protocols, maintaining light levels of sedation, and preventing and managing delirium can improve patient outcomes. Early mobilization and family engagement also play a key role in reducing long- and short-term consequences of an ICU stay. The greatest benefit occurs when these interventions are combined.

The Evolution of the ICU Liberation Bundle

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ICU Liberation Bundle (A-F)

The ICU Liberation Bundle A-F elements individually and collectively work to reduce delirium, prevent and manage pain, achieve early mobilzation, and reduce long-term consequences for adult ICU patients.

PADIS Guidelines

The 2018 PADIS Guidelines provide a roadmap for developing integrated, evidence-based, and patient-centered protocols that can be implemented through the ICU Liberation Bundle (A-F). Access both the PADIS and 2013 PAD guidelines. 

ICU Liberation Products

ICU Liberation offers educational materials to help clinicians improve care and quality of life for ICU patients. Various online learning options as well as the latest ICU Liberation book are available.

Electronic Health Record Integration

Epic and Cerner are the first to include the ICU Liberation Bundle (A-F) in their electronic health record (EHR) software, incorporating the interventions into clinicians’ workflows.

Pediatric ICU Liberation

ICU Liberation is expanding. Look for resources to help improve outcomes for pediatric patients coming soon! For now, download the Minimum Data Set Toolkit, which includes a pediatric version.

You don’t have to apply the ICU Liberation Bundle perfectly on every patient every day. It has what we like to call a dose-response effect, so even if your bundle performance is modest, you will see the benefit. But the better you apply the ICU Liberation Bundle and the more consistently you apply it in the care of all patients in the ICU, the greater your return on your investment.

Juliana Barr, MD, FCCM
Juliana Barr, MD, FCCM
Member since 2001

ICU Liberation Implementation Toolkit

The ICU Liberation Implementation Toolkit helps multiprofessional critical care teams measure performance improvement and includes:
•    Data and compliance definitions
•    A spreadsheet for data collection and compliance reports 
•    Quick links to the ICU Liberation guidelines 

NEW! The ICU Liberation Implementation Framework Binder Booklet, which provides guidance on implementing the A-F elements of the ICU Liberation Bundle, is now included with the toolkit.

View sample pages.


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Host an ICU Liberation Course at Your Institution

The SCCM Licensing Team can provide details about bringing training to your institution.

Contact Us
Hosting an SCCM licensed course offers a unique opportunity to train your staff. Hosted courses combine expert-developed lectures with hands-on skill stations and are available in both in-person and online formats. Choose to hold one course or explore package pricing.
Learn More About Hosting a Course


Latest from the Critical Connections Blog

ICU Liberation: How Pharmacists Can Champion Change and Improve Outcomes
Joanna L. Stollings, PharmD, FCCP, FCCM, and Devin N. Holden, PharmD, BCPS, BCCCP, summarize how pharmacists can play an important role in the development and implementation of each element of the ICU Liberation Bundle (A-F).
Posted: 9/9/2021 | 0 comments | ICU Liberation, ICU Liberation Bundle (A-F)

Achieving Buy-In for the ICU Liberation Campaign
As a bedside nurse in the intensive care unit (ICU), I did not have much understanding of the financial impact my care was having on the patients and my hospital. I have since graduated with a master’s degree in nursing as a clinical nurse specialist and achieved a doctorate of nursing practice. Since moving into an operations role nearly three years ago, I have seen the financial impacts of care to which I had been oblivious for the first part of my career. I ask myself: How do I advocate for the best patient care while balancing costs to ensure a financially healthy organization?

The answer: The ICU Liberation campaign.
Posted: 3/8/2021 | 0 comments | ICU Liberation

Countering COVID-19 Delirium with the ICU Liberation Bundle
The ICU liberation Bundle (formerly known as the A-F bundle) is more important than ever in the COVID-19 era. While the pandemic has changed much inside intensive care units (ICUs), the commitment to provide multiprofessional, high-quality care is unwavering.
Posted: 6/17/2020 | 0 comments | Coronavirus, COVID-19, Disaster Response, Emergency Response, ICU Liberation, Pandemic

ICU Liberation Labs: Engaging the Team Ensures the ICU Liberation Bundle Improves Patient Outcomes
The ICU Liberation Labs during the 49th Critical Care Congress featured information about the ICU Liberation Initiative – which aims to liberate patients from the harmful effects of pain, agitation/sedation, delirium, immobility, and sleep disruption that are common after ICU stays – and offered insights on the bundle’s implementation from ICU Liberation Collaborative members.
Posted: 2/20/2020 | 0 comments | ICU Liberation

How ICU Liberation Brought Value to Our Patients, Team Members, and Administrators
An interview with an ICU Liberation Collaborative Leader and Participant.
Posted: 11/25/2019 | 0 comments | ICU Liberation