Conscious sedation for the performance of gynecologic examination of individuals with intellectual disability

Conn Med. 2005 May;69(5):267-9.


Objective: Gynecologic examination of some individuals with intellectual disability can be especially problematic. Many of these women reside in a community setting and a widely applicable method for performing these examinations is desirable.

Methods: Intellectually disabled women were referred by their primary care providers for gynecologic examinations under sedation in the emergency room facility of a community hospital. Intravenous conscious sedation was administered under the direction of an emergency room physician.

Results: Thirteen adult women underwent 22 examinations over a four-year period. Papanicolau smears, screening for sexually transmitted disease and cervical and endometrial biopsies were obtained without complications. Hospital charges were relatively low and lengths of stay were short.

Conclusion: In selected individuals with intellectual disability, intravenous conscious sedation in a community hospital emergency room setting provides a safe, effective and relatively inexpensive means for performing gynecologic examinations.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Female
  • Gynecology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mentally Disabled Persons*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Quality of Health Care
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Vaginal Smears / methods