Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Kind of Drink are You?

Providing informed consent to patients about conscious sedation is always interesting for providers. We typically use several medications to help patients relax during procedures. By far and away the two most commonly used medications for this purpose are a benzodiazepine (typically midazolam, or Versed) and a narcotic (often fentanyl). Patients familiar with conscious sedation often ask, "Oh, you mean I will get some "twighlight anesthesia?" To which we answer, "Yes!"

But describing conscious sedation to someone who has never experienced conscious sedation before is a bit more challenging. Often, we compare it to having a drink or two, without the hangover, to help "take the edge off" the anxiety of the procedure. Patients seem to understand this. But for us, the doctors and nurses, it helps to be able to relate to the patient before committing to this analogy in the procedure room, so we usually ask, "So what's your drink of choice?"

The tea toadlers might respond: "I don't drink, thank you." To them, they get some "Nectar of the Gods."

For typically the young upwardly mobile professionals, we'll hear: "A nice chardonnay" or "a martini."

The older generation often want a "manhattan" or "scotch, on the rocks."

And for the over-80 crowd, I've now heard this one: "Give me a dry, dirty Rob Roy." Now for me, I'd never heard of this, but it seems it's a combination of shot of scotch added to a dry martini. The "dirty" part is the splash of olive juice added in. (Yes, you can learn a lot about a person from their drink choice.)

So I thought it might be fun to take a poll (anonymously, of course) in the sidebar of this blog for a week or so, to see what kind of concious sedation my readers would ask for. So go ahead, register your choice and be sure to let your anethesiologist know the next time you need a little "something" to calm yourself down before surgery.

By the way, feel free to share your favorite drink in the comments if it doesn't exist.


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