The use of propofol in a group of older patients undergoing oesophagoscopy
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Propofol (Diprivan; Stuart) a new, very short-acting intravenous anaesthetic agent, was tested in its aqueous emulsion formulation. Used as an induction and maintenance agent, its anaesthetic properties, dosage requirements and side-effects were compared with those of thiopentone in 40 American Society of Anesthesiologists class I and II patients scheduled for routine oesophagoscopy. Both heart rate and diastolic blood pressure were more stable in the propofol group, and recovery times were significantly shorter. Patients were remarkably clear-headed after propofol. When the quality of anaesthesia was independently assessed by an anaesthesist and a surgeon, propofol was rated good or satisfactory in all subjects, and thiopentone in 80%. Anaphylactoid reactions associated with the previous Cremophor EL formulation were not encountered, and pain on injection was experienced in 10% of propofol subjects as against 5% who received thiopentone. This new intravenous agent produces safe and predictable anaesthesia followed by rapid recovery, making it especially suitable for outpatient anaesthesia.
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