Moderate Sedation for Adult and Pediatric Patients
What is moderate sedation?
Moderate sedation is used to help patients relax or feel sleepy during a procedure. It also helps to decrease pain. When you are moderately sedated, you may almost be asleep; but you are easy to wake up and you are able to answer questions.
When is it used?
Moderate sedation is used for minor surgeries and certain types of tests. It may be used in a hospital or clinic. Before using it, your health care provider will talk with you about it.
How is it used?
There are a few different medicines that can be used for moderate sedation. The medicine may be given to you as a pill, injection, or through an IV (intravenous) line. In some cases, patients who are children may be given the medicine by breathing with a mask.
An IV is a small tube that is placed in a vein in the arm. Fluids and drugs can be given through an IV. Once an IV is placed, it should not hurt. Your arm may feel cool because the fluids are cooler than your body.
What about eating and drinking?
A health care provider will talk with you about how to prepare for moderate sedation. To be ready for it, you may be asked to not eat or drink.
What happens during moderate sedation?
When an adult is sedated, his temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure are checked. When a child is sedated, his heart rate and oxygen levels are checked and sometimes his blood pressure. The adult patient will be asked questions. These questions may include “How are you doing?, Do you have any pain?,” and “Are you short of breath?” Answering the questions is important.
During moderate sedation, you may have a heart monitor. Breathing and oxygen level will also be watched. You may receive oxygen. A doctor or nurse will be with you during this time.
How will you feel?
If you and your health care provider expect that you will leave the hospital or clinic on the same day that you have been given moderate sedation, you should plan to stay as long as needed to recover after the procedure. The least amount of time you will need to stay is a half hour. You may have blurred vision, nausea, and feel dizzy for a while. As the medicine for sedation leaves your body, you will feel better. You may not recall much about the procedure, but the sleepy feeling does not last long. You will feel back to normal in a short time.
Even though you may feel like normal a short time after moderate sedation, you should plan to take it easy for 24 hours. You should not drive or make important decisions (personal or business) until the next day. You must have someone drive you home from the hospital or clinic.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 03/08/2013
Copyright © 03/08/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5821
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