Citation: EMJ Gastroenterol. 2012:1:39-44.
Sedation is increasingly becoming a must for most endoscopic procedures. Non-anesthesiologist administration of propofol is the standard of practice in many European countries. Nevertheless, despite anesthesiology societies concerns about sedation guided by endoscopist, practitioners find some limits to propofol administration, related to high risk patients or high risk and complex procedures, which can be long lasting and technically challenging.
The main patient related risk factors for sedation are elderly patients, obesity, ASA≥3 patients, individuals with craniofacial abnormalities or with pharyngolaringeal tumors, patients with an acute gastrointestinal bleeding, under pain medications, sedatives, antidepressants, or who consume significant amounts of alcohol or drugs. Procedure related risk factors have more to do with the duration and complexity of the procedure than with other factors, in which considering a general anesthesia allows the endoscopist to concentrate on a difficult task. Published papers addressing the most challenging sedation groups in endoscopy are exploring and even trespassing previously assumed frontiers, and new scenarios are opening to the endoscopist, increasing his/her autonomy, reducing costs and giving patients levels of comfort previously unknown. In this review we analyse each risk group determining the ones in which a sedation protocol could be widely applied, and other in which the published evidence does not guarantee a safe endoscopist guided propofol sedation.