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Balanced conscious sedation with intravenous induction and inhalational maintenance for patients requiring endoscopic and/or surgical procedures

  • G. Y. Lahoud (a1) and P. M. Hopkins (a1)



Background and objective: The use of inhalation sedation with sub-anaesthetic concentrations of sevoflurane and nitrous oxide mixture is expected to reduce amounts of intravenous sedative drugs needed to produce a balanced sedation with the benefits of having reduced side-effects. Methods: Eighty-two patients requiring endoscopic and/or surgical procedures under conscious sedation and local anaesthesia were recruited for this pilot study. Conscious sedation was induced with a titrated dose of midazolam and propofol given intravenously until the clinical end-point of conscious sedation was achieved. Subsequently, during the procedure, the patient was asked to breathe sevoflurane 0.1–0.3% and a fixed ratio of 40% nitrous oxide in oxygen given through a face mask. Results: In 78 patients (95.1%), the treatment was completed successfully. Patients were discharged back to the wards within 4–16 min (10.1) without significant side-effects. Treatment was satisfactorily accepted by 38 patients (48.7%) and considered excellent by 40 patients (51.3%). Conclusions: The use of titrated doses of intravenous sedative drugs for induction of conscious sedation followed by the use of low concentrations (0.1–0.3%) of sevoflurane combined with 40% nitrous oxide for maintenance of conscious sedation in patients requiring endoscopic and/or surgical procedures under local anaesthesia, has the potential advantages of reducing amounts of intravenous sedative drugs, less likelihood of problems from drug side-effects and fast recovery and discharge time. Further investigations to establish the technique are currently in progress.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: G. Y. Lahoud, Department of Anaesthesia, Scarborough General Hospital, Woodland Drive, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO12 6QL, UK. E-mail:; Tel: +44 1723 342394; Fax: +44 1723 385160


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