Introduction Entonox is a safe and effective method of analgesia used for patients undergoing colonoscopy. It has a number of advantages over sedo-analgesia and is available for use in a large number of Endoscopy Units in the UK.
The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of Entonox as an analgesic during colonoscopy in our unit, and to evaluate the experience of patients, nurses and endoscopists involved.
Methods This study was carried out over a two month period between 1st June 2014 and 31st July 2014. All patients undergoing out-patient colonoscopy and all trained endoscopy nurses and endoscopists who worked in the unit were invited to take part. A questionnaire, focussing on discomfort, anxiety and discharge planning was completed by patients choosing to have Entonox before leaving the department. Nurses and endoscopists were questioned on their experience of Entonox as an analgesic and the effect on flow within the unit, at the end of the study period.
Results 489 patients had a colonoscopy during the study period, 89 (18%) chose to have Entonox. Of these patients 56% were male. 71% were aged between 40 and 69 years. 89% of procedures were diagnostic and 11% therapeutic. Colonoscopy was complete to caecum in 99% of procedures.
15% of patients experienced mild side effects such as dry mouth, light headedness and sweating.
84% of patients who used Entonox were fit for discharge less than 30 minutes after the procedure: 23% drove home and 89% went home without an escort.
Patients reported a mean satisfaction score of 8.4 and 70% said they would use Entonox again.
Of the 21 endoscopy nurses and 17 endoscopists who completed the end of study questionnaire, 95% of nurses and 94% of endoscopists were satisfied with Entonox as an effective method of pain control for colonoscopy.
All nurses felt Entonox should continue to be offered to patients and 88% of Endoscopists said it should be implemented in NHS Tayside’s other two endoscopy units.
There was a cost saving of £75.05 over the two month study period: This would make a predicted annual saving of £772.35.
Conclusion Our study has shown that Entonox is a suitable analgesic option for our patients having a colonoscopy. It is safe and simple to use, does not impact on colonoscopy completion rate and is cost effective. Patients have a shorter recovery period and are discharged quickly after the procedure. Patients are able to drive after the procedure and go home without an escort. Patients, nurses and endoscopists all reported high satisfaction scores.
Entonox will continue to be offered to patients within Ninewells Hospital Endoscopy Unit and is currently being introduced in the other NHS Tayside Endoscopy Units.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared