Joint statement addresses propofol administration

The American Society of Anesthesiologists and the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists have developed a joint statement regarding propofol administration that says when propofol is used for sedation/anesthesia, it should be administered only by persons who are trained in the administration of general anesthesia and who are not simultaneously involved in surgical or diagnostic procedures.

"Due to the potential for rapid, profound changes in sedative/anesthetic depth and the lack of antagonistic medications, agents such as propofol require special attention," the statement says. "This restriction is concordant with specific language in the propofol package insert, and failure to follow these recommendations could put patients at increased risk of significant injury or death."

Similar concerns apply when other intravenous induction agents are used for sedation, such as thiopental, methohexital, or etomidate, the statement says.

To see the statement, go to www.asahq.org/ news/asaaanajointstmnt.htm and click on "Brief joint statement regarding propofol administration."