135 Procedural Sedation

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Procedural sedation is the condition produced by the administration of a drug or combination of drugs with the intent to sedate during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in a way that allows the patient to maintain protective reflexes such as the ability to swallow, gag, and cough, and remain responsive to verbal stimuli.  The goal is to decrease anxiety and fear associated with a procedure, increase the pain threshold, and provide perioperative amnesia. Drugs used for conscious sedation can be administered orally, rectally, intramuscularly, and intravenously. Intravenous administration produces the quickest results and will be the focus of these programs. Effective and quickly reversed, IV conscious sedation shortens recovery times and reduces risk for patients having minor surgery and endoscopic procedures.

Schools:  Advanced: Critical care

Healthcare Facilities:  Orientation to procedural sedation team; annual update

CE This series is eligible for Continuing Education credits. Click this link for more inforamtion.

Individual program learning objectives



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135.1 Patient Assessment and Monitoring (22 min.)

  1. Define procedural/moderate sedation.
  2. List interventions in which procedural sedation may be utilized.
  3. Discuss the risks and benefits associated with procedural sedation.
  4. Cite information that must be obtained when performing a pre-procedure assessment.
  5. State what emergency equipment must be in the procedure room and at the bedside.
  6. Compare and contrast the four states along the continuum of sedation.
  7. Explain common complications associated with procedural sedation.
  8. Differentiate between the various classes of medications that can be used during procedural sedation.
  9. Describe patient monitoring during procedural sedation including:
    1. Parameters to evaluate
    2. Frequency of assessment
    3. Information that must be documented
  10. Outline discharge criteria.
  11. Address information that must be included with discharge instructions.

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135.2 Preventing & Managing Complications; Sedation in Children (24 min.)

  1. Cite physical conditions that may preclude individuals from receiving procedural sedation.
  2. List common complications of procedural sedation medications and state why they occur.
  3. Discuss the use of the reversal medications naloxone and flumazenil including:
    1. When they are used
    2. The recommended dosage ranges
    3. How to administer
    4. The side effects or potential complications
  4. Explain The Joint Commission standards for patient safety regarding the use of procedural sedation.
  5. Address how to prepare a child and his or her family for procedural sedation.
  6. Explore special considerations when giving procedural sedation medications to children.
  7. Review guidelines for monitoring pediatric patients during and after procedural sedation.
  8. Outline the discharge criteria recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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