Background: Propofol sedation is increasingly used for colonoscopy and may be associated with increased satisfaction and efficiency in diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy. However, propofol has a relatively narrow therapeutic window as it frequently produces deep sedation, and can precipitate respiratory depression.
Aim: To determine the efficacy, safety and patient satisfaction with propofol sedation in patients undergoing colonoscopy at the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).
Methods: Patients undergoing outpatient colonoscopy at the UHWI who were sedated with propofol were studied. Boluses of 10 − 20 mg of propofol at intervals of 2 − 5 minutes, as needed for adequate sedation, were administered after initial induction. Continuous monitoring of the pulse rate, and oxygen saturation were performed and the blood pressure checked every 2 − 5 minutes. All patients received supplemental oxygen (4 L/min).
The following observations were recorded: the endoscopist recorded the ease of the procedure, the anaesthetist recorded the comfort of the patient throughout the procedure and at the time of discharge, and the patient stated the degree of satisfaction with the procedure. Any unusual events were recorded.
Results: Sixty consecutive patients sedated with propofol were studied. There were 28 (46.7%) males, with a mean age of 58.3 years and 32 (53.3%) females, with mean age of 59.5 years. Most were normal healthy patients (56.6%). Comorbid illnesses were present in 43.4%, with hypertension being most common (23.3%). All patients were classified as ASA class 1 and 2. The average dose of propofol used was 180 mg (range 50 – 355 mg). The mean duration of colonoscopy was 19.5 minutes. The mean recovery period (able to stand) was 29.6 minutes. There were no documented cases of significant hypotension, bradycardia, or hypoxaemia during the procedure. Transient apnoeic episodes during the initial stages of sedation occurred in 12 (20%) patients. The majority of patients (91.7%) rated the experience as being extremely good or excellent. The majority could not recall the actual colonoscopy and there were minimal subjective reports of nausea or discomfort during the procedure.
Conclusions: Propofol sedation was associated with quick recovery and excellent satisfaction by patients and is a suitable alternative for sedation for colonoscopy in Jamaica.