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Procedural sedation: a position paper of the Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society

Gregory Dobson, Matthew A. Chong, Lorraine Chow, Alana Flexman, Heather Hurdle, Matthew Kurrek, Claude Laflamme, Michel-Antoine Perrault, Kathryn Sparrow, Shean Stacey, Petrus A. Swart, Michael Wong

The Canadian Anesthesiologists’ Society (CAS) promotes safe anesthesia care to the highest possible standard. Traditionally, this care was provided in operating rooms by anesthesiologists. Contemporary practice, however, includes many other care locations and providers. Nevertheless, requirements for assessing the patient and managing the medical intervention are independent of provider or location.

Procedural sedation is defined as the technique of safely administering short-acting sedative or dissociative agents, with or without analgesics, to reduce discomfort, apprehension, and potentially unpleasant memories while minimizing cardiorespiratory depression of patients during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. These effects are distinct from both general anesthesia, which provides a state of total unconsciousness, and analgesia alone, which delivers a reduction in or insensibility to pain, not necessarily with a reduction in or a loss of consciousness.

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