Institutional members access full text with Ovid®

Share this article on:

Management of anesthetic emergencies and complications outside the operating room

Garnier, Marca,b; Bonnet, Francisa,b

Current Opinion in Anesthesiology: August 2014 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 437–441
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000088

Purpose of review Anesthesia outside the operating room is commonly uncomfortable and risky. In this setting, anesthetic emergencies or complications may occur. This review aims to report the most recent updates regarding the management of prehospital anesthesia, anesthesia in the trauma and emergency rooms, and anesthesia for endoscopy and interventional radiology.

Recent findings After tracheal intubation failure, airway control of outpatients could be achieved by pharmacologically assisted laryngeal mask insertion. Management of traumatic injured patients is best guided in the frame of checklists. Monitoring sedation in this setting is challenging notably because of the threat of haemodynamic instability. Unfortunately, BIS monitoring cannot be recommended to guide sedation in this setting. Ketamine can be used to prevent hypotension during prehospital anesthesia or procedural sedation, especially as its neuroprotective effects have been recently best understood. Target-controlled infusion propofol administration with small concentration increments is adapted to prevent hypotension and hypoxaemia during sedation for gastrointestinal endoscopy and interventional radiology. Target-controlled infusion remifentanil administration is also adapted to many procedures.

Summary Anesthesia outside the operating room requires careful monitoring to avoid side-effects and education of nonanaesthetists when they are involved. A useful tool is to continuously improve the protocols and checklists to make anesthesia in this setting safer.

aAnaesthesiology and Intensive Care Department, Hôpital Tenon, APHP

bPierre & Marie Curie School of Medicine, Pierre & Marie Curie University (Paris VI), Paris, France

Correspondence to Dr Marc Garnier, MD, MSc, Département d’Anesthésie et Réanimation – Pôle TVAR, Hôpital TENON, 4 rue de la Chine, 75020 Paris, France. Tel: +33 1 56 01 51 53; fax: +33 1 56 01 60 97; e-mail:

© 2014 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.