Dangers of Conscious Sedation in Outpatient Facilities
These days, the use of conscious sedation is on the rise in outpatient centers, clinics, and hospitals, but it can be a risky procedure.
Many times, it is performed without appropriate personnel, such as an anesthesiologist or a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA); who administer the cocktail and assess how well the patient is tolerating the drug. Personnel on deck during the procedure (who must be Advanced Cardiac Life Support or “ACLS” trained and certified) need to be able to immediately reverse the drugs, rescue a deeply sedated patient, or be able to resuscitate someone who goes into cardiac arrest.
Although conscious sedation is supposed to help patients deal with the pain and/or anxiety of certain tests, this “twilight sleep” has the potential to do more harm than good. In fact, the drugs that induce this kind of “sleep” are often more potent.