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Surgical Tip of the Week

#22 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).

Deep Sedation/Analgesia

  • A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused, but
    • respond purposefully following repeated or painful stimulation.
    • reflex withdrawal from a painful stimulus is NOT considered a purposeful response
  • The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function may be impaired.
    • Patients may require assistance in maintaining a patent airway.
    • Spontaneous ventilation may be inadequate.
  • Cardiovascular function is usually maintained.