Post Operative Instructions following Intravenous Sedation

Despite given verbal instructions to patients, many patients overlook the basic requirements following intravenous sedation.

The drugs used in sedating a patient, have the effect of making you amnesiac (short term memory loss) and also rendering you “drunk in charge”, in that you are not responsible for your own actions and certainly not able to drive.

Because of this, it is our medico-legal responsibility to ensure that you are properly looked after on leaving our practice.

Consequently, minimum requirements for post-sedation patients are:

  1. 1 That you are collected from our rooms and taken home by someone who will be responsible for you for the rest of the day. On leaving the practice, you will be given the necessary medications and you will also be given post-operative instructions which are both written and verbal.
  2. 2 For a smooth post-operative phase, it is necessary that the individual picking the patient up understands the instructions and can hand these on or carry them out as necessary, in that the patient having being sedated, may well not remember what they have been told.
  3. 3 It is not acceptable that the patient walks home by themselves.
  4. 4 It is not acceptable that they are sent home in a taxi (or a bus) - we are therefore handing on the responsibility for that patient to the taxi driver (or bus driver) and this is not medico-legally allowed.
  5. 5 It is not desirable that the patient is dropped off and left alone for an hour or two following their return home. It is preferable that the person who picks them up stays with them for this period of time.

Despite advising patient of these instructions at consultation, a number of patients turn up expecting to go home in a taxi, or alternatively to walk home themselves. This is not an option, and surgery will not be carried out on that day, under those circumstances.

Please be aware that if you are taking WARFARIN, CARTIA or ASPIRIN in the week preceding your surgery, this appointment may be postponed to avoid excessive bleeding.