What is included in patient education about procedural sedation?

Updated: Sep 21, 2020
  • Author: Alma N Juels, MD; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Consent should be obtained from the patient or family member. [56, 57] The reason the procedure is being performed (suspected diagnosis); the risks, benefits, and alternatives of the procedure; the risks and benefits of the alternative procedure; and the risks and benefits of not undergoing the procedure. Allow the patient the opportunity to ask any questions and address any concerns they may have. Make sure that they have an understanding about the procedure so they can make an informed decision.

The patient should be counseled about the risks of hypotension, hypoxia, bradycardia, cardiac dysrhythmias, respiratory depression, need for assisted ventilation, intubation, allergic reaction (swelling, rash, nausea, vomiting), or achieving deeper sedation than intended. Reassure the patient that many of the side effects are minor and can resolve spontaneously or with the use of adjunctive agents.

The patient should also be counseled that the procedure may not be successful (inadequate analgesia).

Discuss how these risks can be avoided or prevented (eg, monitoring, preoxygenation, having appropriate airway management, and equipment and resuscitation medications available, having reversal agents for opioids or benzodiazepines readily available).

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