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Safety of any sedation technique is dependent upon the ability of practitioners to prevent or safely manage deeper levels of sedation.Consciousness is a continuum in which levels can be recognized.Levels of sedation have been defined by the ASA and they are widely accepted (Table 1).

They are summarized to illustrate how conscious sedation can be delivered effectively, safely, and appropriately.

Advanced techniques have a reduced margin of safety and should only be used by a specialist team.

Many children undergoing minor procedures need effective sedation, or anaesthesia, because they are frightened, in pain, ill, or have behavioural problems.

When a child will not cooperate, it is tempting to increase the dose.

In most techniques, for an individual child, it is not possible to be certain what dose or doses can cause deep sedation.

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