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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Pres. Bush, conscious sedation, and decision-making

On one day last week Vice President Richard Cheney was temporarily in command of the United States, during Pres. Bush’s colonoscopy. The president, we were told, was having the minor outpatient procedure under conscious sedation, and would hand over command to V.P. Cheney for a few hours.

The procedure removed five polyps from the president’s colon before they could become dangerous.

The president resumed his duties a few hours later.

Does this news of a chief executive being in command just after conscious sedation scare you too? Before my own procedure under conscious sedation under Versed and Fentanyl, I was appropriately told not to make any important decisions later that day. I felt quite in control afterward, however—which was quite a deceptive feeling. I had no memory, for example, of writing a thank you note to the doctor, or of asking someone to pass my note to the doctor afterward.

Advice: Make sure a family member or friend prevents you from making decisions while under the after-effects of conscious sedation.

Read one of our anesthesia stories.

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