The Safety of Deep Sedation without Intubation for Abortion in the Outpatient Setting

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Pregnant women, in the second trimester, are said to have a high risk of perioperative pulmonary aspiration during delivery. This is caused by an elevation of physiological changes in the fetus which is characterized by gastroesophageal reflux disease, increased nausea, and vomiting among others. However, health practitioners advocate endotracheal intubation to expectant mothers receiving anesthesia during the first trimester.

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Some health practitioners intubate tracheas of pregnant women during surgeries but outpatient facilities administer deep intravenous and anesthesia. This is because outpatients undergoing abortions have not been catered for, and the point that there is no verification showing that pregnancy risks aspirations. Studies show that abortions have little complications and relatively low mortality rates in expectant mothers (Neil, 2009). In addition, the article reveals that some of the patients did not show symptoms of anesthesia, but there are those who showed sinus tachycardia and chorioamnionitis.

Outpatient did not exhibit perioperative pulmonary aspiration during the entire period of study while using deep sedation. The risk of aspirations increases with the increase in gestation age because which is enormously elevated by endotracheal intubations.  Mellin reported that zero cases in patients using IV sedation where obstetrical procedures revealed a high risk of aspiration than deep sedation.

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It is also evident that pregnancy is not a causative factor for perioperative aspiration, in addition to the fact that, it is not overrepresented in obstetrical women. The belief that intubation protects aspiration is misleading to the public because the highest number of aspirations occur in extubation and intubation (Neil, 2009). It is also vital to note that there has been an increase in the usage of deep IV sedation in the last decade an indicator that it is safe for human consumption.

In conclusion, deep sedation is a healthy option for pregnant women as opposed to intubation during the first, second and third trimester.


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Neil, R. (2009). Review of clinical anesthesia. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer                       Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.







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