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Conscious sedation is the condition produced by the administration of a drug or combination of drugs with the intent to sedate during diagnostic and therapeutic procedures in a way that allows the patient to maintain protective reflexes such as the ability to swallow, gag, and cough, and remain responsive to verbal stimuli. The goal is to decrease anxiety and fear associated with a procedure, increase the pain threshold, and provide perioperative amnesia. Drugs used for conscious sedation can be administered orally, rectally, intramuscularly, and intravenously. Intravenous administration produces the quickest results and will be the focus of these programs. Effective and quickly reversed, IV conscious sedation shortens recovery times and reduces risk for patients having minor surgery and endoscopic procedures.
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