Safety of deep sedation in the endoscopy suite

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Abstract

Purpose of review

As the complexity of endoscopic procedures increases, the use of propofol and the desire for deep sedation are becoming more common in the endoscopy suite. This review explores sedation depth, agents used for sedation, recommended monitoring, and adverse event risks that occur during sedation for endoscopy.

Recent findings

The sedation provider for endoscopy varies by practice location and with regulatory requirements. As increasingly deep levels of sedation are used in this setting, the need for all providers to have training in the ability to rescue patients from sedation-related side effects is paramount. Propofol has an important role for prolonged and uncomfortable endoscopic interventions and has a strong safety record in the endoscopy suite. Vital signs monitoring is recommended during all endoscopy sedation, and there is emerging interest in advanced monitoring (e.g., capnography, processed electroencephalogram, respiratory monitoring) in this setting. The reported rate of adverse events during endoscopy sedation varies widely; however, advanced age and increasing American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status score are consistently associated with increased risk. Whether anesthesiologist-administered sedation is safer than non-anesthesiologist-administered sedation remains controversial.

Summary

This review provides some guidance to providers who administer sedation in the endoscopy suite and is intended to improve the safety of patients. The recommendations are based on best available evidence and expert opinion.

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