Sedation Continuum: The American Association of Anesthesiologists (ASA) defines sedation as a continuum- with 4 distinct levels of measurement: Level of Consciousness, Airway patency, Ventilatory function, and Cardiovascular status.
Minimal Sedation (Anxiolysis): A drug-induced state during which patients respond normally to verbal commands. Although cognitive function and physical coordination may be impaired, airway reflexes, and ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected.
Moderate Sedation/Analgesia ( New term for “Conscious Sedation”): A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients respond purposefully to verbal commands, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation. No interventions are required to maintain a patent airway, and spontaneous ventilation is adequate. Cardiovascular function is usually maintained.** *Reflex withdrawal from a painful stimulus is NOT considered a purposeful response.
Deep Sedation/Analgesia: A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused but respond purposefully following repeated or painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function may be impaired. Patients may require assistance in maintaining a patent airway, and spontaneous ventilation may be inadequate. Cardiovascular function is usually maintained.
General Anesthesia: A drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are not arousable, even by painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function is often impaired. Patients often require assistance in maintaining a patent airway, and positive pressure ventilation may be required because of depressed spontaneous ventilation or drug-induced depression of neuromuscular function. Cardiovascular function may be impaired.
Procedural Sedation and Analgesia (PSA): technique of administering sedatives or dissociative agents with or without analgesics to induce a state that allows the patient to tolerate unpleasant procedures while maintaining cardio respiratory function. PSA is intended to result in a depressed level of consciousness that allows the patient to maintain oxygenation and airway control independently.”