No need for long-lasting sedatives before surgery

No need for long-lasting sedatives before surgery

While sedative pre-medication is widely administered before surgery, a new study says there is little clinical evidence to support its use.

The report published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients who took long-term sedatives like Lorazepam actually experienced a lower rate of early mental recovery and took longer to be removed from machine ventilation.

Study participants who were given a placebo in place of a sedative had a 71-percent rate of early mental awareness after leaving the operating room compared to 51 percent among those taking sedatives.

Dr. Emma Tanase, an anesthesiologist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, agrees with the study and says there are very few instances where she sedates patients before an operation.

“We don’t typically use long-acting sedatives for our patients,” Dr. Tanase says. “If we do sedate our patients, we would use a short-acting sedative. Some people are generally terrified going into surgery.”

Only in extreme situations should the idea of sedating a patient heavily even come into play, Dr. Tanase adds. Typically, regular anesthesia is all that is needed.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.