AskDefine | Define sedation

Dictionary Definition



1 a state of reduced excitement or anxiety that is induced by the administrative of a sedative agent
2 the administration of a sedative agent or drug [syn: drugging]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The act of sedating, especially by use of sedatives.
    The patient was so agitated that the doctor resorted to sedation.

Extensive Definition

Sedation is a medical procedure involving the administration of sedative drugs, generally to facilitate a medical procedure with local anaesthesia.


Sedation is typically used in procedures such as endoscopy, vasectomy, or minor surgery and in dentistry for reconstructive surgery, some cosmetic surgeries, removal of impacted wisdom teeth, or for high-anxiety patients. Sedation methods in dentistry include inhalation sedation (using nitrous oxide), oral sedation, and intravenous (IV) sedation. Inhalation sedation is also sometimes referred to as Relative Analgesia.
Sedation is also used extensively in the intensive care unit so that patients who are being ventilated tolerate having an endotracheal tube in their trachea.


Airway obstruction, apnoea and hypotension are not uncommon during sedation and require the presence of health professionals who are suitably trained to detect and manage these problems.

Levels of sedation

Sedation scales are used in medical situations in conjunction with a medical history in assessing the applicable degree of sedation in patients in order to avoid under-sedation (the patient risks experiencing pain or distress) and over-sedation (the patient risks side effects such as suppression of breathing, which might lead to death). Typically, levels are (i) agitation, (ii) calm, (iii) responsive to voice only, (iv) responsive to shaking only, (v) responsive to pain only, and (vi) not responsive.
Examples of sedation scales include: MSAT (Minnesota Sedation Assessment Tool), UMSS (University of Michigan Sedation Scale) and the Ramsay Scale (Ramsay, et al. 1974)
sedation in Bulgarian: Седация
sedation in German: Sedierung
sedation in French: Sédation
sedation in Dutch: Sedatie
sedation in Finnish: Sedaatio
sedation in Swedish: Sedering

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

catalepsy, coma, encephalitis lethargica, high, lethargy, narcohypnosis, narcolepsy, narcoma, narcosis, narcotic stupor, narcotization, nod, shock, sleeping sickness, sopor, stupor, swoon, thanatosis, trance
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