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Surgical Tip of the Week

#23 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).

General Analgesia

  • A drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are not arousable, even by painful stimulation.
  • The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function is often impaired.
    • Patients often require assistance in maintaining a patent airway.
    • Positive pressure ventilation may be required because of depressed spontaneous ventilation or drug-induced depression of neuromuscular function.
  • Cardiovascular function may be impaired.