Sedation Anaesthesia

Procedural sedation and/or analgesia refers to a drug induced state similar to a light sleep where we aim to keep you comfortable. You as the patient will be able to tolerate uncomfortable or painful diagnostic or interventional medical, dental or surgical procedures. Although we can't assure it for the entire procedure we aim to give you amnesia (memory loss) of distressing events and/or analgesia such that you do not respond to painful stimuli.

Modern sedation is very safe but it still carries a risk and has side effects and complications. While they are commonly temporary, some may have long-term effects.

The risk to you will depend on whether;

- you have any other illnesses

- personal factors such as whether you smoke or are overweight

Common side effects and complications of sedation anaesthesia

• Headache

• Pain and/or bruising at injection site

• Sore or dry throat and lips

• Faintness or dizziness, especially when you start to move around

• Fall in blood pressure.

Less common side effects and complications of sedation anaesthesia

• Nausea and vomiting

• Muscle aches and pains

• Weakness

• Mild allergic reaction - itching or rash

• Temporary nerve damage.

Uncommon side effects and complications from sedation anaesthesia

• Damage to teeth, dental prosthetics and lips

• Allergic reactions and/or asthma

• Damage to nerves and pressure areas

• Epileptic seizure

• An existing medical condition getting worse.

Rare risks of sedation which may cause death

• Vomit in the lungs (pneumonia)

• Severe allergic reaction or shock

• Permanent nerve damage

• Stroke or heart attack

• Blood clot in the lungs

• Brain damage.

Your responsibilities before having a procedure

You are at less risk of problems from a sedation anaesthetic if you do the following:

  1. Increase your fitness before your procedure to improve your blood circulation and lung health.
  2. If you are overweight, reducing your weight will reduce many of the risks of having anaesthetic.
  3. Give up smoking at least 6 weeks before your procedure to give your lungs and heart a chance to improve. Smoking reduces the oxygen in your blood and increases breathing problems during and after an operation.
  4. Bring all your prescribed drugs, those drugs you buy over the counter, herbal remedies and supplements and show your doctor what you are taking.
  5. Tell your doctor about any allergies or side effects you may have.
  6. Drink less alcohol as alcohol may alter the affects of anaesthetic drugs. Do not drink any alcohol 24 hours before the procedure.
  7. Stop taking recreational drugs before the procedure as these may affect the anaesthetic.
  8. If you have a drug addiction please tell your doctor.
  9. If you take Aspirin, Warfarin, Clopidogrel (Plavix and Iscover) or Dipyridamole (Persantin and Asasantin or any other drug that is used to thin your blood ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before the procedure as it may affect your blood clotting.
  10. If you are on the contraceptive pill let the doctor know. This adds to the risk of you having a blood clot.

Things for you to avoid after your procedure Sedation will affect your judgment for about 24 hours. For your own safety:

• Do NOT drive any type of car, bike or other vehicle.

• Do NOT operate machinery including cooking implements.

• Do NOT make important decisions or sign a legal document.

• Do NOT drink alcohol, take other mindaltering substances, or smoke. They may react with the anaesthetic drugs.

• Have an adult with you on the first night after your procedure.