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Sedation for endoscopy

Greg E Knoblanche
Med J Aust 2002; 176 (4): 147.
Published online: 18 February 2002

Sedation is a difficult concept to define, as it includes a continuum from anxiolysis to anaesthesia. The point at which sedation becomes anaesthesia is generally accepted as occurring when the patient becomes unresponsive to verbal commands.1-3 Sedation is a depression of, rather than a loss of, consciousness, and may be combined with analgesia and amnesia to facilitate otherwise unpleasant and painful procedures. There is a large demand for sedation with endoscopy in Australia, although this is not universal practice.4 For instance, most colonoscopies in Germany are performed without sedation.

  • Greg E Knoblanche

  • Department of Anaesthesia, Royal North Shore Hospital, St Leonards, NSW.

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