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AOMRC guideline on safe sedation practice for healthcare procedures

Sedation is ubiquitous in clinical practice. Avoidable morbidity and mortality continue to happen despite multiple sets of recommendations and much research. In 2001 the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges published guidance.1 Since then, sedation and clinical procedures have evolved whilst the population of patients for sedation has aged and become frailer with more co-morbidities. Individual specialties have developed guidance on sedation and there has been some improvement in training and practice.

Research and audit have identified continued avoidable morbidity and mortality from sedation. The single most common recurring theme is the lack of formal training for the appropriate administration of sedative drugs and prompt recognition and treatment of sedation-related complications. This must be addressed. It is only through the insistence on formal accredited competency-based training for all healthcare workers using such techniques, that we can improve the safety of sedation practice.

This report defines Fundamental Standards and Development Standards in safe sedation practice and recommends competency-based formal training for all healthcare professionals involved in sedation.