Wagner, K.D. & Hardin-Pierce, M.G. (2014). High acuity nursing (6th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson
Moderate sedation is used for procedures that do not require general anesthesia or will not take place in the operating room. It used to be called conscious sedation because it is used to alter or decrease the level of consciousness in order for the procedure to be tolerated. This is an outdated term.
The patient should be able to:
Maintain a patent airway
Keep an intact cough and gag reflex
Maintain relatively unchanged cardiovascular function
Moderate Sedation - Depression of consciousness created by medications where a patient is able to respond purposefully to verbal commands or minimal stimulation. The patient is able to maintain airway and there is minimal to no effect on the cardiovascular system.
Sedation – to relax with minimal change to vital signs
Analgesia – reduce pain with minimal side effects
Anxiolytic - medication used to reduce anxiety, generally a benzodiazepine
Terminology Quick Quiz
Please differentiate between the terms by filling in the blanks below:
Nurse Jones knows that patients may requireor medications to keep them relaxed during moderate sedation. She is very competent at providing to decrease pain in her medical-surgical patients. She has recently completed competency training to provide for procedures.
Nurse Jones is aware that when performing moderate sedation she will need to ensure the patient maintains and reflexes. She also knows that cardiac and pulmonary status should remain adequate and essentially unchanged.