Moderate sedation (conscious sedation) Policy Term Definition

A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which a patient responds purposefully to verbal commands, either alone or accompanied by physical stimulation. No interventions are required to maintain a patent airway and spontaneous ventilation is adequate. Cardiovascular function is maintained. Sedation is a continuum, and it is not always possible to predict how an individual patient will respond.  However, in general, one should consider the effect on the patient to be that of moderate sedation/analgesia under the following circumstances:

  1. The prescribing LIP’s intent is to produce a depression of consciousness that exceeds simple reduction of anxiety or simple relief of pain.  For example, the sedation/analgesia may be intended to, among other things, produce amnesia of a short duration          Or,
  2. Administration by any route of sedatives and/or narcotics in doses that are reasonably expected to produce a moderate sedating and analgesic effect for this individual patient in order to allow the patient to tolerate unpleasant procedural therapies of a short duration.