More information about Procedural Sedation
Procedural sedation (also known as conscious sedation or conscious anesthesia) is an area of medicine used throughout many practices and procedures in the medical and dental industry. There can understandably be some confusion among both patients and medical professionals regarding procedural sedation or conscious sedation and anesthesia.
Procedural sedation varies in intensity from anxiolysis which is the least intense, to moderate sedation, and finally deep sedation which is the most powerful form of sedation.
As a patient, when you are consciously sedated you may receive mix of an analgesic and a sedative. The analgesic serves to prevent patient sensitivity to pain and the sedative acts as a relaxant. Naturally, because it is “conscious sedation” the patient is not under general anesthesia. Conscious sedation is a safe procedure because of the careful titration of medications and the continuous monitoring of the heart, breathing, blood pressure, and level of consciousness.
The most common potential for complications arises from receiving too much sedative in which case the patient may develop respiratory depression. If you’re a patient expecting to receive some form of sedation remember that a qualified medical professional will be supervising your entire procedure to ensure that you are receiving the optimal amount of sedation. Conscious sedation is a very safe procedure and is very valuable in assisting with a large variety of medical procedures by keeping you comfortable during potentially painful procedures. Conscious sedation is especially common in many dental and medical procedures.
Anxiolysis is the lowest state of procedural sedation. This is a state where people are calm, relaxed and drowsy but still able to respond to questions and verbal commands. This is a common state of sedation used for claustrophobic patients who require an MRI.
Moderate sedation is a higher level of procedural sedation. With moderate sedation the patient is more drowsy and often does not respond to verbal prompts, but does respond purposefully to touch. Generally, moderate sedation has no risk of breathing problems.
Deep sedation is the most intense form of sedation in which the patient is completely unconscious. Deep sedation can be safely administered by emergency physicians and hospital physicians after appropriate training. There is a risk of respiratory impairment during deep sedation which is why we always require continuous monitoring of the heart, breathing, and blood presssure. Physicians who perform deep sedation must be skilled in advanced airway management.
Our CME course will train clinicians in the various options to achieve anxiolysis, moderate sedation or deep sedation in a safe manner.
Ask the Experts
Whether you’re a patient scheduled to receive procedural sedation who is interested in learning more, or you’re a medical student or a working medical professional interested in discussing procedural sedation, we invite you to contact an HPC physician directly by visiting www.Facebook.com/HospitalProcedures
We welcome questions or comments and we look forward to hearing from you.