Responsiveness-Based Sedation State Definitions
Minimal sedation (anxiolysis)
"A drug-induced state during which patients respond normally to verbal commands. Although cognitive
function and coordination might be impaired, ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected."
"A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients respond purposefully to verbal
commands, either alone or accompanied by light tactile stimulation. No interventions are required to
maintain a patent airway, and spontaneous ventilation is adequate. Cardiovascular function is usually
"A trance-like cataleptic state induced by the dissociative drug ketamine characterized by profound
analgesia and amnesia, with retention of protective airway reflexes, spontaneous respirations, and
cardiopulmonary stability. "2-6
"A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused but respond
purposefully following repeated or painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory
function may be impaired. Patients may require assistance in maintaining a patent airway and
spontaneous ventilation may be inadequate. Cardiovascular function is usually maintained. "34
"A drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are not arousable, even by painful
stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function is often impaired. Patients often
require assistance in maintaining a patent airway, and positive pressure ventilation may be required
because of depressed spontaneous ventilation or drug-induced depression of neuromuscular function.
Cardiovascular function may be impaired. "
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