Procedural sedation and analgesia in the emergency department. Canadian consensus guidelines
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Procedural sedation and analgesia are core skills in emergency medicine. Various specialty societies have developed guidelines for procedural sedation, each reflecting the perspective of the specialty group. Emergency practitioners are most likely to embrace guidelines developed by people who understand emergency department (ED) skills, procedures, conditions, and case mix. Recognizing this, the Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians (CAEP) determined the need to establish guidelines for procedural sedation in the ED. In March, 1996, a national emergency medicine (EM) working committee, representing adult and pediatric emergency physicians, was established. This committee teleconferenced with representatives of the Canadian Anesthetic Society (CAS) to identify problems, perspectives, and controversial issues, and to define a process for guideline development. The EM committee subsequently reviewed existing literature, determined levels of evidence, and developed the document, which evolved based on feedback from the CAS and CAEP Standards Committees. The final version was approved by the CAEP Standards Committee and the CAEP Board of Directors, then submitted for peer review. These guidelines discuss the goals, definitions, and principles of ED sedation, and make recommendations for pre-sedation preparation, patient fasting, physician skills, equipment and monitoring requirements, and post-sedation care. The guidelines are aimed at non-anesthesiologists practicing part-time or full-time emergency medicine. They are applicable to ED patients receiving parenteral analgesia or sedation for painful or anxiety-provoking procedures. They are intended to increase the safety of procedural sedation in the ED.
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