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Sedatives (drugs that provide sedation and reduce stress) can be given before an operation in the form of tablets or as an injection into a vein or muscle. Benzodiazepines are often used as sedating drugs, such as Midazolam, Lorazepam, Temazepam or Diazepam.

They can also be used during an operation to provide a state of sleepiness and block the memory. Commonly used drugs are Midazolam, Propofol, Ketamine and Remifentanil. They are mostly given as an infusion into a vein via a drip. Patients may not remember anything from the operation.

The area of the operation will be blocked with local anaesthetic around a nerve (nerve block) or a spinal or epidural anaesthesia so that the patient does not feel any pain from the operation.

Sedation is often used in dental procedures or for minor procedures (insertion of a line, awake intubation, endoscopies, manipulation of a broken bone, plaster application in the emergency department) or in combination with a spinal anaesthetic (for a knee replacement, hernia operation) 

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