Nurses can safely administer propofol sedation in ASC settings with physician supervision — 5 study insights

A study, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, examined factors related to nurse-administered propofol sedation in 9,152 endoscopic cases at ASCs.

With an anesthesiologist's assistance, researchers developed a protocol for nurses to administer propofol in routine endoscopic cases with physician supervision. The study took place at a private ASC in Medford, Ore.

Here's what they found:

1. Concerning outcomes, there were seven cases of respiratory compromise all associated with upper endoscopy. Of the seven cases, three were prolonged apnea, three laryngospasm and one aspitation requiring hospitalization.

2. Five patients required mask ventilation, but none required endotracheal intubation.

3. There were seven colonic perforations and three may have involved forceful sigmoid disruption.

4. Of patients who previously received narcotic or benzodiazepine sedation, 84 percent preferred propofol.

5. Mean time from procedure completion to discharge was 18 minutes out of 100 patient averages.

Researchers concluded, "Nurse-administered propofol sedation in an ambulatory surgery center was safe and resulted in high levels of patient satisfaction and rapid post procedure recovery and discharge."

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