Risks of sedating infants
These are specialist sedation techniques and they risk causing unintended deep sedation or anaesthesia.The incidence of associated airway obstruction and inadequate spontaneous ventilation may be dependent, in the main, on skill and judgement.There is a difference between ‘conscious’ and ‘moderate’ sedation, but the terms are close enough to make it reasonable to consider them to be equivalent in this article.Ideally, a conscious sedation drug technique should have a margin of safety wide enough to make loss of consciousness unlikely.
In addition, the term ‘conscious’ sedation has remained in the UK.
It is similar to ‘moderate’ sedation except that the patient always remains responsive to the spoken word; this definition is used most commonly in dentistry.
Consciousness is a continuum in which levels can be recognized.
Levels of sedation have been defined by the ASA and they are widely accepted (Table 1).
Given that a conscious patient can independently maintain a clear airway and adequate breathing, conscious sedation is safe because the patient remains conscious.
Safety of any sedation technique is dependent upon the ability of practitioners to prevent or safely manage deeper levels of sedation.