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Z Gastroenterol. 2013 Jun;51(6):568-72. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1330441. Epub 2013 Jun 5.

Sedation-associated complications in endoscopy--prospective multicentre survey of 191142 patients.

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Medizinische Klinik II, HELIOS Klinikum Krefeld, Krefeld, Germany.

Erratum in

  • Z Gastroenterol. 2013 Jun;51(6):E1.



Propofol sedation is applied as moderate sedation for almost all diagnostic and interventional endoscopies. Propofol sedation bears the risk of complications such as respiratory as well as cardiopulmonary insufficiency including sedation-induced death. According to recent guidelines, non-anesthesiologist-administered propofol (NAAP) should be performed by an additional person who has NAAP as their sole task.


In a prospective multicentre survey involving 191,142 patients, clinically relevant endoscopy-associated complications were registered from 02/2010 to 01/2012.


The majority of propofol sedations were applied without additional persons for NAAP. Overall endoscopy-related complication rate was 0.0022 % (n = 424) and sedation-related complications 0.00 042 % (n = 82). Variability over time and between the clinics was low and not influenced by the number of endoscopies performed during the investigation period. Sedation-related death occurred in 6 patients (0.00 003 %), 50 % during emergency endoscopies. In all sedation-associated deaths the patients had ASA class 3 before endoscopy. All fatal complications occurred in the presence of an additional trained person for NAAP.


This large prospective survey shows that propofol sedation in gastrointestinal endoscopy is a safe procedure with a low potential of risk in daily routine. However, high risk patients (ASA ≥ 3) should be identified, especially before emergency endoscopies and managed by additional persons for NAAP and under intensive care surveillance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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