Information for patients undergoing Conscious Sedation

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What you need to know

Your doctor will carry out your procedure under Conscious Sedation.  This is when you are given medicine which makes you drowsy, reduces any anxiety and relieves any pain which you might perhaps otherwise experience during the procedure.  You will still be awake (but drowsy) and in control, and able to talk to your doctor.  An advantage of some of the medicines is that you may not be able to remember  the procedure, although you will remember everything before being given the medicine and after it has worn off.  To cause conscious sedation, you will usually be given one or more medicines, usually by injection, but sometimes by other means.  You will be carefully monitored by a nurse, using various instruments during the entire procedure.

Before the procedure

Make sure you understand and carefully follow any instructions given to you by your doctor.

  • No solid food for 6 hours before the procedure.
  • Adults can have liquids up to 4 hours before the procedure.
  • Children: Parents to follow their doctor's advise.
  • Someone else must take you to the clinic/hospital.
  • Before the procedure, remember to tell your doctor about any other medicines which you are taking, any allergies or other medical conditions which you have.  Ask him about any special instructions.

During the procedure
  • You are likely to have a small injection needle inserted and taped to your arm.
  • You will most probably be monitored by certain equipment during the procedure: a pulse monitor clip on one of your fingers, a blood pressure cuff on your arm and perhaps some small patches attached to your chest to monitor your heart beat.
  • You may have a small oxygen mask, or a tube placed near your nose for oxygen.

After the procedure
  • Once your doctor is happy with your recovery, you will be allowed to go home.
  • A responsible adult should take you home.
  • You must not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • You should not sign any legal documents for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Do not drink alcohol for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any problems such as pain in the neck, chest or stomach.

You may drink any fluids (other than alcohol), and eat half an hour after the procedure.  If you have any questions, please ask your doctor.

Source: Conscious Sedation Working Grouo MASA. Conscious
Sedation Clinical Guidelines SAMJ April 1997;87(4)484-492
Roche Products (Pty) Ltd.,
P.O. Box 129, Isando, 1600. Tel: (011) 974-5335 or
REAL (Roche Ethical Assistance Lin) 
tollfree: 0800 21 21 25
2/12/97  DRM-97/12


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