Patients receiving conscious sedation are capable of rational responses, and they are able to maintain their airway for ventilation.The hallmark of conscious sedation is that it does not alter respiratory, cardiac, or reflex functions (nerve reflexes from the brain) to the level that requires external support for these vital functions.In patients with preexisting lung and/or heart disease, these medications should be monitored closely or not prescribed.
This means that if the patient has not had time to metabolize the previous dose and ingests more, then the sedative effect may increase.
An extensive survey of death in 100,000 cases published in 1988 revealed that death within seven days was 2.9 times greater when one or two anesthetic drugs were used than when using three or more medications.
As of 2000 this study is accepted as standard practice and multiple IV anesthetics is the preferable recommendation for optimal patient care.
Patients receiving conscious sedation are cooperative, have stable vital signs (pulse, respiratory rate, and temperature), shorter recovery room convalescence, and lower risk of developing drug-induced complications.
Unconscious sedation is a controlled state of anesthesia, characterized by partial or complete loss of protective nerve reflexes, including the ability to independently breathe and respond to commands.
Preexisting medical conditions such as high blood pressure and heart and lung disease may increase the chance of developing undesirable side effects.