Volume 9, No. 1 • Spring 1994

Is Patient Adequately Sedated?

Karen Shea, M.D.

To the Editor

Hoping to achieve anesthesia immortality, or, at the least, 15 minutes of fame, I would like to propose “Shea’s Sign.” This is when the lips of the sedated patient go “poof” (or “pouf?!”)*, thus indicating that the patient is adequately sedated for the current level of stimulus. I have found it helpful in gauging the level of sedation without asking patients how they are doing, which sometimes wakes them up in the process. With best wishes for improved patient safety.

Karen Shea, M.D. Stevensville, MD

*Webster doesn’t seem to recognize either word, but I trust you will understand what I mean.