Surgical Tip of the Week

#28 Sedation Emergencies

5. EMESIS AND ASPIRATION Emesis is possible following the administration of sedative drugs including nitrous oxide. Although, aspiration of vomitus is unlikely when airway protective reflexes are intact, dentists should be prepared for this emergency. A thorough patient interview may reveal a history of nausea and vomiting. Sedated patients should be NPO for 6 hours prior to the removal of third molars. Unfortunately, patients are not always compliant with this rule. Slow titration of drugs to light or moderate sedation reduces the possibility of nausea and vomiting.