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Surgical Tip of the Week

#21 The Sedation Continuum

The concept of sedation as a continuum is the foundation of patient safety. Sedation is a continuum of levels of sedation from fully consciousness to unconsciousness (general anesthesia).

Moderate Sedation/ Analgesia (“Conscious Sedation”)

  • A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which
    • patients respond purposefully to verbal commands, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation
    • reflex withdrawal from a painful stimulus is NOT considered a purposeful response
  • No interventions are required to maintain a patent airway, and spontaneous ventilation is adequate.
  • Cardiovascular function is usually maintained.