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Sedation for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy: results of a nationwide survey.
  1. T K Daneshmend,
  2. G D Bell,
  3. R F Logan
  1. Department of Therapeutics, University Hospital, Nottingham.


    A postal questionnaire inquiring about routine sedation and premedication practice for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was sent to 1048 doctors. Of 665 appropriate returns, 81% were from consultant physicians and surgeons. Most endoscopists (90%) reported using an intravenous benzodiazepine for at least three quarters of endoscopies and 54% of physicians and 69% of surgeons always did so. Midazolam was the intravenous sedative used by a third of all respondents and 13% also used an additional intravenous agent, usually pethidine. Over the previous two years a total of 119 respiratory arrests, 37 cardiac arrests, and 52 deaths were identified. Adverse outcomes were reported more frequently by consultant physicians, by those who 'titrated' the intravenous sedative, and by those who used an additional intravenous agent, but were reported equally frequently by endoscopists using midazolam and endoscopists using diazepam. There is an urgent need for a prospective study to identify the circumstances and risk factors associated with adverse outcomes related to endoscopy.

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