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Endoscopy. 1987 Jan;19(1):1-6.

Complications of fiberoptic gastrointestinal endoscopy--five years' experience in a central hospital.


Complications in relation to fiberoptic gastrointestinal endoscopy were recorded prospectively during the five-year period 1980-1984. Diagnostic esophago-gastroduodenoscopy (EGD) had non-fatal complications in ten out of 7,314 procedures (0.14%) and three deaths (0.04%). Therapeutic EGD had non-fatal complications in eight out of 440 procedures (1.8%) and two deaths (0.5%). Diagnostic endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) had non-fatal complications in 15 out of 1,930 procedures (0.8%) and one death (0.05%). Therapeutic ERCP had non-fatal complications in 14 out of 554 procedures (2.5%) and six deaths (1.1%). Diagnostic colonoscopy had non-fatal complications in five out of 3,538 procedures (0.14%) and therapeutic colonoscopy in 21 out of 1,055 procedures (2.0%). There were no deaths in connection with diagnostic or therapeutic colonoscopy. The recommendations based on this series are: Put greater emphasis on a proper evaluation of indications and contraindications. Avoid sedation of patients with respiratory failure. If possible, postpone procedures which may cause bleeding in patients with impaired hemostasis until proper correction has been achieved.

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