Many patients require sedation during diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. Ideally, procedural sedation minimizes the patient's awareness and discomfort while maintaining the patient's safety. Appropriate monitoring by trained personnel is the key to successful procedural sedation. These techniques should be used only by health care professionals skilled in managing complications, including cardiorespiratory compromise. It is important to take a complete history and perform a thorough physical examination, paying special attention to the selection of pharmacologic agents. Common sedative agents include etomidate, ketamine, fentanyl, and midazolam. These have become the agents of choice for procedural sedation because of their ease of use, predictable action, and excellent safety profiles. All patients requiring procedural sedation should be monitored by qualified staff at the bedside until they have recovered to an age-appropriate baseline mental status and function.