Richmond Agitation Sedation Scale (RASS)

Arguably the most commonly used assessment tool for sedation and agitation in the ICU. It has also been fairly well validated since its introduction in 2002, through the work by Sessler et al (full text).

Score Term Description
+4 Combative Overtly combative or violent; immediate danger to staff
+3 Very agitated Pulls on or removes tube(s) or catheter(s) or has aggressive behavior toward staff
+2 Agitated Frequent nonpurposeful movement or patient–ventilator dyssynchrony
+1 Restless Anxious or apprehensive but movements not aggressive or vigorous
0 Alert and calm Spontaneously pays attention to caregiver
-1 Drowsy Not fully alert, but has sustained (more than 10 seconds) awakening, with eye contact, to voice
-2 Light sedation Briefly (less than 10 seconds) awakens with eye contact to voice
-3 Moderate sedation Any movement (but no eye contact) to voice
-4 Deep sedation No response to voice, but any movement to physical stimulation
-5 Unarousable No response to voice or physical stimulation