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1.  Safe practice of endoscopy 
Postgraduate Medical Journal  2000;76(898):455-456.
doi:10.1136/pmj.76.898.455
PMCID: PMC1741686  PMID: 10908369
2.  Guidelines on appropriate indications for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. Working Party of the Joint Committee of the Royal College of Physicians of London, Royal College of Surgeons of England, Royal College of Anaesthetists, Association of Surgeons, the British Society of Gastroenterology, and the Thoracic Society of Great Britain. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1995;310(6983):853-856.
Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy is a valuable diagnostic tool, but for an endoscopy service to be effective it is essential that it is not overloaded with inappropriately referred patients. A joint working party in Britain has considered the available literature on indications for endoscopy, assessed standard practice through a questionnaire, and audited randomly selected cases using an independent panel of experts and an American database system. They used these data to produce guidelines on the appropriate and inappropriate indications for referral for endoscopy, although they emphasise that under certain circumstances there may be reasons to deviate from the advice given. The need for endoscopy is most difficult to judge in patients with dyspepsia, and this aspect is discussed in detail. Early endoscopy will often prove more cost effective than delaying until the indications are clearer.
PMCID: PMC2549224  PMID: 7711627
3.  Prospective audit of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in two regions of England: safety, staffing, and sedation methods. 
Gut  1995;36(3):462-467.
A prospective audit of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy in 36 hospitals across two regions provided data from 14,149 gastroscopies of which 1113 procedures were therapeutic and 13,036 were diagnostic. Most patients received gastroscopy under intravenous sedation; midazolam was the preferred agent in the North West and diazepam was preferred in East Anglia. Mean doses of each agent used were 5.7 mg and 13.8 mg respectively, although there was a wide distribution of doses reported. Only half of the patients endoscoped had some form of intravenous access in situ and few were supplied with supplementary oxygen. The death rate from this study for diagnostic endoscopy was 1 in 2000 and the morbidity rate was 1 in 200; cardiorespiratory complications were the most prominent in this group and there was a strong relation between the lack of monitoring and use of high dose benzodiazepines and the occurrence of adverse outcomes. In particular there was a link between the use of local anaesthetic sprays and the development of pneumonia after gastroscopy (p < 0.001). Twenty perforations occurred out of a total of 774 dilatations of which eight patients died (death rate 1 in 100). A number of units were found to have staffing problems, to be lacking in basic facilities, and to have poor or virtually non-existent recovery areas. In addition, a number of junior endoscopists were performing endoscopy unsupervised and with minimal training.
PMCID: PMC1382467  PMID: 7698711
4.  Appropriate use of upper gastrointestinal endoscopy--a prospective audit. Steering Group of the Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Audit Committee. 
Gut  1994;35(9):1209-1214.
Work by this group has shown that there is a wide range of opinion as to patients' suitability for endoscopy. In a recent study, 1297 questionnaires were sent to a random selection of doctors, including 350 general physicians, 400 surgeons, 477 gastroenterologists, and 70 general practitioners. The respondent was asked to indicate whether or not he would refer the patient described by each case vignette for endoscopy. Depending on the indication, the positive referral rate varied from 4.5% to 99% overall, and from 4.5% to 63.8% for all those clinical situations that the working party felt to be inappropriate. A second study examined the appropriateness of 400 consecutive cases referred from four units within one health region; these cases were judged independently, and without conferring, by a panel of seven gastroenterologists. The same cases were rated by software that incorporated American opinion (the Rand criteria). Although only 45 (11%) of the cases were classed as inappropriate by the British panel, 120 cases (31%) assessed by the American software were rated inappropriate. These differences occurred largely because in the USA it is recommended that one month's antiulcer treatment be tried before considering endoscopy for dyspepsia and thus many referrals were seen as inappropriate by the American database. Of the 45 cases found to be inappropriate by the British doctors no important abnormality was found at endoscopy; whereas of 120 cases judged inappropriate by the Rand criteria, three duodenal and two gastric ulcers, and one gastric cancer were diagnosed at gastroscopy. This study attempts a quantitative assessment of inappropriate use and serves to encourage further work to define appropriateness.
PMCID: PMC1375695  PMID: 7959225

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