Critical illness polyneuropathy (CIP), critical illness myopathy (CIM) and septic encephalopathy are under recognized complications of sepsis, multiorgan failure and prolonged mechanical ventilation. A review in the May issue of Chest focuses on CIP and CIM (often overlapping and sometimes lumped as ICU associated weakness). An editorial in the same issue discusses CIP and CIM and mentions the related entity septic encephalopathy, a state of impaired consciousness and cognition associated with sepsis.
An algorithm for diagnosis and strategies for prevention are presented. Among preventive strategies limitation of corticosteroids and neuromuscular blocking agents are those best supported by evidence.