Moderate Sedation For Adult Patients
What is moderate sedation?
Moderate sedation is used to help patients
relax or feel sleepy during a procedure. It
also helps to decrease pain. When you are
moderately sedated, you may almost be
asleep; but you are easy to wake up and you
are able to answer questions.
When is it used?
Moderate sedation is used for minor
surgeries and certain types of tests. It may
be used in a hospital or clinic. Your health
care provider will talk with you this before
How is it used?
There are a few different medicines that can
be used for moderate sedation. The
medicine may be given to you as a pill,
injection, or through an IV (intravenous)
An IV is a small tube that is placed in a vein
in the arm. Fluids and drugs can be given
through an IV. Once an IV is placed, it
should not hurt. Your arm may feel cool
because of the fluids in your IV.
What about eating and drinking?
A health care provider will talk with you
about how to prepare for moderate sedation.
To be ready for it, you may be asked to not
eat or drink for several hours prior to
surgery or test.
What happens during moderate sedation?
When an adult is sedated, your oxygen level,
heart rate, and blood pressure are checked.
The adult patient will be asked questions
about how you are feeling and answering
these questions are important.
During moderate sedation, you may have a
heart monitor. You may receive oxygen. A
doctor or nurse will be with you during this
How will you feel?
If you and your health care provider expect
that you will leave the hospital or clinic on
the same day that you have been given
moderate sedation, you should plan to stay
as long as needed to recover after the
procedure. The least amount of time you
will need to stay is 30 minutes.
You may have blurred vision, temporary
short term memory loss, nausea, and feel
dizzy for some time. You may not remember
details about the procedure, but the sleepy
feeling does not last long. You will feel
back to normal in a short time.
Even though you may feel like normal a
short time after moderate sedation, you
should plan to take it easy for 24 hours.
You should not drive or make important
decisions (personal or business) until the
You must have someone drive you home
from the hospital or clinic.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 10/2017 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5821