Conscious sedation is a controlled state of extreme relaxation often resulting in little memory of the procedure. This type of sedation reduces pain and awareness of the procedure while allowing the patient to breathe on his/her own and to respond to verbal commands and/or gentle stimulation. Many times a patient will not even recall having spoken to the staff during the procedure. Conscious sedation allows a patient to tolerate the procedure by relieving anxiety, discomfort and/or pain. For procedures that require children not to move conscious sedation will help them to remain still. Informed consent must be obtained before the procedure and before the patient receives conscious sedation. In children, the informed consent must be obtained from a
parent or guardian of the child before conscious sedation is administered. A physician, dentist or a nurse may administer conscious sedation. The patient is monitored before, during and after the procedure.
If the patient is going home, arrangements should be made for a responsible adult to take the patient home.
There are some risks with conscious sedation. The risk is dependent upon many factors including the type of procedure and the medical condition of the patient. Fortunately, adverse events are rare.