Nurse-administered propofol sedation for endoscopy: a risk analysis during an implementation phase

Endoscopy, 08/05/2011

Jensen JT et al. – These results were obtained after development of a structured training program both for endoscopists and nurses using propofol for sedation, and can be used as basis for further comparison. Nurse–administered propofol sedation(NAPS) for endoscopic procedures is safe when performed by personnel properly trained in airway handling and sedation with propofol, and has considerable advantages compared with conventional sedation for endoscopy.


  • A structured training program was developed both for endoscopists and for endoscopy nurses who were administering propofol sedation.
  • The nurses' program comprised a 6-week course including theoretical and practical training in airway management, and the endoscopists' program consisted of 2.5 h of theory and a short course in practical airway management.
  • In the implementation phase, data from 1822 endoscopic procedures in 1764 patients were prospectively collected.
  • All adverse events related to sedation were recorded (defined as oxygen saturation <92 %, airway handling, assisted ventilation, need for intubation, change in blood pressure >20 mmHg).


  • 78 cases of hypoxemia were documented in 1764 patients (4.4 %), in 56/983 upper endoscopies (5.7 %) and 22/754 lower endoscopies (2.9 %) (P=0.007).
  • Assisted ventilation was necessary in 19 cases (1.1 %) and anesthesiologic assistance was requested 10 times.
  • Two patients required endotracheal intubation.
  • A change in blood pressure was recorded in 451 patients (26 %).
  • Independent risk factors were type of intervention and level of experience of the staff performing the sedation.

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