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Br J Anaesth. 1987 Mar;59(3):364-8.

Anaesthesia for evacuation of retained products of conception. Comparison between alfentanil plus etomidate and fentanyl plus thiopentone.


Forty-four patients presenting for evacuation of retained products of conception were anaesthetized with either fentanyl and thiopentone, or alfentanil with etomidate, along with 70% nitrous oxide in oxygen. There was no difference between the two techniques in indices of immediate recovery (time to opening eyes and obeying a simple command), but the rate of return of higher mental functions (assessed by a coin counting test) was significantly better using the alfentanil-etomidate technique. There was no statistically significant difference between the techniques for apnoea or abnormal movements during anaesthesia, but alfentanil with etomidate was associated with significantly more pain on injection and a higher frequency of postoperative vomiting (40%).

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