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Conscious Sedation: What Patients should expect?

What is Conscious Sedation?

Conscious Sedation

This kind of Sedation encourages an altered state of awareness that diminishes pain and discomfort through the use of pain relievers and sedatives. Patients, who obtain conscious sedation normally are able to speak and replied to verbal signs throughout the treatment, communicating any discomfort they experience to the provider. A short period of amnesia may erase any memory of the treatment.

A Sedative reduces apprehension and supports you to relax. You may be given a Sedative if you are having a method under local or national anesthesia or test that may cause anxiety, such as a colonoscopy or an MRI scan.


When is conscious sedation administered?

Conscious Sedation sometimes named “Sedation Dentistry” is administered by taking a pill orally an hour prior to surgery. Among surgery, all body functions remain normal and the patient is able to breathe on their own. Patients often fall asleep and awake with some degree of amnesia. The disadvantages of this method of sedation are the level of sedation of each patient is not predictable and they must be driven to and from the office due to the medications intensity.


 Conscious sedation is used in hospitals, outpatient facilities, e.g. ambulatory surgery centers, doctors offices, etc, to facilitate treatments such as the following:


  • Breast biopsy
  • Vasectomy
  • Minor foot surgery
  • Minor bone fracture repair
  • Plastic/reconstructive surgery
  • Dental prosthetic/reconstructive surgery
  • Endoscopy (For example: diagnostic studies and treatment of stomach, colon and bladder)


 Administer for Conscious Sedation?

In administering medications to reduce conscious sedation, the RN is needed to have the same awareness and expertise as for any other treatment the nurse administers. This information base includes but is not limited to: effects of medication; potential side effects of the mediation; contraindications for the administration of the medication; the amount of the medication to be administered.


Conscious Sedation is particularly safe when managed by qualified providers. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), anesthesiologists, other physicians, dentists, and oral surgeons are qualified providers of conscious sedation. Specifically trained registered nurses may assist in the administration of conscious sedation.


Monitoring of Conscious Sedation

For the reason patients can slip into cavernous sleep, appropriate monitoring of conscious sedation is essential. Health care suppliers monitor patient heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen level and alertness throughout and after the treatment. The provider who monitors the patients receiving conscious sedation should have no other responsibility during the treatment and should remain with the patient at all times during the procedure.


What Side Effects We Can Have Conscious Sedation?

A short time of amnesia after the treatment may follow the administration of conscious sedation Occasional side effects may include headache, hangover, nausea and vomiting or unpleasant, memories of the surgical experience.


Questions to Ask Before Conscious Sedation

  • Will a trained and experience provider be dedicated to monitoring me during conscious sedation?
  • Would my dentist/nurse monitor my breathing, heart rate and blood pressure?
  • Would oxygen be available and will the oxygen content of my blood be monitored?
  • Are personnel trained to perform advanced cardiac life support?
  • Is emergency resuscitation equipment available on-site and immediately accessible in the event of an emergency?

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