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A Literature Review of the Safety and Efficacy of Using Propofol for Sedation in Endoscopy

Cirgin Ellett, Marsha L. DNS, RN

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0b013e3181d601fb

A 2007 survey of members of the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates identified a need for more evidence regarding sedation medications including propofol. Therefore, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Database of Randomized Clinical Trials, MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE, and the National Guideline Clearinghouse ( databases were individually searched using the term propofol, limited to human, English, 2000–2009, review articles, and randomized clinical trials. A total of 46 resources contributed to this review, with emphasis on 16 studies ranging from retrospective chart reviews to double-blind, randomized controlled trials. Nonanesthesia personnel–administered propofol, including that administered by specially trained nurses under the supervision of an endoscopist, appears to be safe with minor, easily resolved, adverse events occurring in less than 1% of patients. These minor adverse events included four studies reporting hypoxemia requiring occasional intervention, three studies reporting hypotension, and two studies reporting bradycardia. No patients required tracheal intubation, and no deaths were reported.

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Marsha L. Cirgin Ellett, DNS, RN, is Professor, Indiana University School of Nursing, Indianapolis.

Correspondence to: Marsha L. Cirgin Ellett, DNS, RN, Indiana University School of Nursing, 1111 Middle Drive, Room 439, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (e-mail:

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Received July 31, 2009; accepted November 29, 2009.

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