Procedural or Conscious Sedation – Adults

Patient Experience

  • Reference Number: HEY1032/2019
  • Departments: Emergency Department
  • Last Updated: 10 January 2019


This advice sheet has been produced to give you information about discharge advice following procedural or conscious sedation.  It is not meant to replace discussion between you and your doctor.  If after reading it, you require further explanation please discuss this with the relevant person who has been caring for you.

The injury or medical problem you presented with to the Emergency Department required the Medical Team to administer strong pain relief as well as a sedative to enable a procedure to be performed.  This is called procedural or conscious sedation.  This is often used in the Emergency Department for procedures such as manipulation of a broken bone or a dislocated joint.

It is now safe for you to be discharged home as the strong medications will have worn off. However, you may still feel a little confused, sleepy, dizzy or clumsy. This is not unusual and will wear off with time.

You may be unable to recall the procedure being performed, this can be a side effect of the medications that were used.  There should not be any long-lasting problems with your memory as a result of the medication.  You may experience mild impairment of judgement and / or co-ordination for the next 24 hours, which is nothing to worry about.

For the next 24 hours you should:

  • Remain in the care of a responsible adult (friends or family) who can watch over you and call 999 in case of any serious concern
  • Eat a light meal in a few hours’ time and drink small amounts of fluid regularly. If you cannot keep fluids down as a result of vomiting, return to the Emergency Department
  • Get plenty of rest

For the next 24 hours Do Not:

  • Drive a car or motorised vehicle, operate heavy machinery or power tools. You may wish to confirm with your car insurance company whether they mandate extended periods of no driving, both with respect to the sedation as well as to the injury you have sustained.
    DVLA guidance can be found on:
  • Operate electric / gas home appliances unattended e.g. cooking
  • Drink alcohol or take illegal drugs
  • Take any sedative medication (g. sleeping tablets)
  • Lock yourself in any room (e.g. bathroom)
  • Climb heights or undertake sports e.g. riding a bicycle
  • Care for children / leave vulnerable adults unattended
  • Make important decisions e.g. sign any legal documents, contracts, make commitments or major purchases

Pain relief medication

To manage your pain, we advise that you regularly take simple pain relief which can be bought over the counter unless we have prescribed you something stronger. If you have allergies or conditions which prevent the use of pain-relieving or anti-inflammatory medication, please make this known to the doctor and nurses attending to you in the Emergency Department.

Should you require further advice on the information contained in this advice sheet, please do not hesitate to contact the Emergency Department on the following numbers:

Contact numbers for the Emergency Department

Majors Area:               Telephone (01482) 482250

Ask to speak to the Consultant, a Senior Doctor or the Nurse in Charge

Under the General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018 we are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of any information we hold about you. For further information visit the following page: Confidential Information about You.

If you or your carer needs information about your health and well-being and about your care and treatment in a different format, such as large print, braille or audio, due to disability, impairment or sensory loss, please advise a member of staff and this can be arranged.

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