Escorting the Sedation Patient After Dental Treatment

What to expect: When a patient has been sedated for dental treatment the medications used have a lingering effect and the patient will have a lack of coordination and alertness for a number of hours afterwards. Often the medications will cause an amnesic effect so even if the patient responds to you during conversation they may forget what was said and you will have to repeat things to them multiple times, or they may ask the same question multiple times. In order for the sedated patient’s safety to be ensured it is important for you to observe the following guidelines:

1) Make sure that the patient has been securely buckled in if being transported in a vehicle.
2) Ensure that while you are walking with the patient you hold their arm securely to prevent falls.
3) If you are escorting the patient home you must ensure that someone remains with them at their home to supervise them for the rest of the day until the patient is fully alert. Don’t drop them off without supervision.
4) If the patient needs to use the restroom escort them and be able to keep an eye on them so as to prevent falls.
5) Remember they are probably still numb from the procedure and may not know it, do not give them anything to eat while they are still numb.
6) If the patient is still heavily slurring speech/incoherent do not give them large quantities to eat or drink. You can give them small sips of water if they complain of a dry mouth/thirst.
7) Do not give the patient any medications (over the counter or otherwise) they do not normally take unless prescribed by the sedating doctor.
8) Do not let the patient consume any alcohol for at least 24 hours after sedation and/or use any recreational drugs.
​​​​​​​9) If the patient wants to sleep that is fine and encouraged. 10)If there are any problems of a non-urgent nature call the office where treatment was provided. 11)If an emergency situation develop (i.e.: patient unable to be awoken, patient stops breathing) CALL 911 immediately!

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