Nonoperating room anesthesia for gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures

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Abstract

Purpose of review

To assess the trends in nonoperating room anesthesia (NORA) for gastrointestinal endoscopy over the past few years, and to describe alternative methods of delivering propofol sedation in selected low-risk patients.

Recent findings

The use of NORA for routine gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures has been rising steadily over the past decade in the United States, considerably increasing healthcare costs. Because of this, there have been attempts to develop nonanesthesiologist-administered propofol sedation methods in low-risk patients. There is controversy as to whether properly trained nonanesthesia personnel can use propofol safely via the modalities of nurse-administered propofol sedation, computer-assisted propofol sedation or nurse-administered continuous propofol sedation

Summary

The deployment of nonanesthesia-administered propofol sedation for low-risk procedures allows for optimal allocation of scarce anesthesia resources, which can be more appropriately used for more complex cases. This can address some of the current shortages in anesthesia provider supply, and can potentially reduce overall healthcare costs without sacrificing sedation quality. We also address the realm of anesthesia provider care for advanced endoscopic procedures including setup for administration of anesthesia, decision-making regarding placement of an endotracheal tube, and the potential need to move a challenging case to the operating room.

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