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Preprocedural Assessment for Patients Anticipating Sedation


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to provide a summary of the recent literature addressing the aims, content, outcomes and quality metrics for presedation evaluation.

Recent Findings

There is a trend towards multidisciplinary development of minimum standards for sedation practice, including presedation assessment. A risk-based paradigm underpins presedation assessment. Improved and validated risk scores are required, especially to predict airway difficulty. There is an increasing focus on skillsets rather than roles. Clinicians should explain the intended depth of sedation, how that may be experienced by patients and how patient preferences for sedation can be incorporated into decision-making.


High-quality presedation evaluation will improve the value of sedation care by aligning appropriate resources (including sedation provider), based on patient risk, and also by improving communication and decision-making.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Author information

Correspondence to Joanna R. Sutherland.

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Conflict of Interest

Joanna R. Sutherland served as Chair of the working party that developed the Minimum Standards for safe procedural sedation, NSW Agency for Clinical Innovation, which is quoted within this article.

Aaron Conway declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Erica L. Sanderson declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

All reported studies or experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards and international/national/institutional guidelines.

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Sutherland, J.R., Conway, A. & Sanderson, E.L. Preprocedural Assessment for Patients Anticipating Sedation. Curr Anesthesiol Rep 10, 35–42 (2020).

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  • Presedation assessment
  • Preprocedural assessment
  • Sedation risk management
  • Shared decision-making