What is Moderate Sedation/Analgesia?

Moderate or conscious sedation induces an altered state of consciousness that minimizes pain and discomfort by the use of pain relievers and sedatives. Usually, patients are able to speak and respond to verbal cues throughout the procedure, and can still communicate any discomfort they experience.

Effects of Moderate Sedation/ Analgesia

Moderate sedation allows patients to recover quickly and resume normal daily activities in a brief period of time. This type of sedation might also cause a brief period of amnesia that may erase any memory of the procedure.

Candidates for Moderate Sedation/ Analgesia

Moderate sedation is administered to facilitate procedures such as breast biopsy, vasectomy, minor foot surgery, minor bone fracture repair, plastic/reconstructive surgery, dental prosthetic/reconstructive surgery and endoscopy (diagnostic studies and treatment of stomach, colon and bladder).

Your Consultation

Procedures for moderate sedation do not usually require pre-operative or pre-testing orders. Clinical situations for moderate sedation would normally involve eating and drinking protocols starting the day before the procedure.

The Moderate Sedation/ Analgesia Procedure

Moderate sedation is achieved by administering pharmacological agents commonly through an intravenous (IV). Medications may also be given orally, rectally, intramuscular, subcutaneously or nasally. The medicine used would depend on the type, duration and intensity of the procedure.

The patient should be continuously monitored from the start of moderate sedation until the time for discharge. The baseline vital signs, oxygen saturation level, heart-rate, rhythm and level of consciousness are the minimum assessment parameters obtained and documented before the sedation process. The patient should be monitored at 5-minute intervals during the procedure; and at 5 to 15 minute intervals during the recovery phase, and also at any significant event in either phase.

Recovery

The patient will receive post-operative care instructions to take home. Patients should not attempt to drive a vehicle, operate dangerous equipment or make any important decisions for at least 24 hours after moderate sedation.

Risks

A short period of amnesia after the procedure may follow the administration of moderate sedation. The occasional side effects may include headache, hangover, nausea and vomiting or unpleasant memories of the surgical experience.

FAQs

What is conscious sedation?

Conscious sedation, also known as moderate or procedural sedation, is a higher level of sedation that is usually provided for office procedures, dental procedures, radiologic procedures such as CT scans and MRI, etc. With this type of sedation, the patients appear sedated when you look at them, but they are able to respond to stimuli (such as verbal questioning).

Who can administer moderate sedation?

Qualified providers should administer moderate sedation to ensure that it will be safe. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists, anesthesiologists, other physicians, dentists, and oral surgeons are qualified providers of moderate sedation. Specifically trained Registered Nurses may help in the administration of moderate sedation.

Who should monitor moderate sedation?

Because patients can slip into a deep sleep, proper monitoring of conscious sedation is necessary. Healthcare providers monitor patient heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, oxygen level and alertness throughout and after the procedure. The provider who monitors the patient receiving conscious sedation should have no other responsibilities during the procedure and should remain with the patient at all times during the procedure.

Is moderate sedation safe?

Moderate sedation is a safe and effective option for patients undergoing minor surgeries or diagnostic procedures. The number and type of procedures that can be performed using moderate sedation have greatly increased as a result of new technology and state of the art drugs.