Conscious Sedation

What is conscious sedation?

During a procedure, conscious sedation lets you stay awake and aware, without feeling discomfort and without the stronger side effects and dangers of general anesthesia. Some patients may experience brief periods of sleep. Patients who receive conscious sedation are usually able to speak and respond to verbal cues throughout the procedure, communicating any discomfort they may experience to the provider. A brief period of amnesia may erase any memory of the procedures. Conscious sedation does not last long, but it may make you drowsy.

What are the side effects of conscious sedation?

  • Sedation may slow your breathing and the nurse may give you oxygen.
  • Your blood pressure may be affected and you may get IV fluids to stabilize your blood pressure.
  • Because sedation effects may linger, you may have a headache, nausea, and feel sleepy for several hours.

Should I do anything special after conscious sedation?

For your safety, a responsible adult must take you home. This person must be available when you are ready for discharge. It is recommended that you have someone with you for the remainder of the day.

You will not be allowed to take a bus or taxicab without a responsible adult to ride with you.

Do not drive, drink alcohol, use machinery, or sign legal documents for 24 hours after receiving sedation.