Procedural sedation analgesia in the elderly patient

Saudi J Anaesth. 2023 Oct-Dec;17(4):533-539. doi: 10.4103/sja.sja_575_23. Epub 2023 Aug 18.


Elderly patients are perceived as a high-risk group for procedural sedation. Procedural sedation analgesia (PSA) is generally safe in older adults. What is not acceptable is undertreating pain or inadequately sedating a stable patient. All the usual precautions should be taken. One should consider any comorbidities that could make the patient more at risk of adverse reactions or complications. Older patients may be at higher risk for oxygen desaturation, but they usually respond quickly to supplemental oxygen. Geriatric patients usually require lower doses of medications. They tend to be more sensitive to medications, with slower metabolism, less physiologic reserve to handle side effects, and a smaller volume of distribution. The use of drugs for sedation in elderly patients requires careful consideration of their age-related changes in physiology and pharmacokinetics. The choice of drug should be based on the patient's medical condition, comorbidities, and potential adverse effects. Moreover, the administration should be done by trained personnel with close monitoring of vital signs and level of consciousness to prevent complications such as respiratory depression.

Keywords: Analgesia; PSA; elderly; geriatrics; moderate sedation.

Publication types

  • Review