Sedation for oocyte retrieval using target controlled infusion of propofol and incremental alfentanil delivered by non-anaesthetists

Anaesthesia. 2010 May;65(5):453-61. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2044.2010.06264.x.


Oocyte retrieval is a procedure where sedation is recommended. This paper presents the process of setting up a new, non-anaesthetist delivered service in our institution, the development of safety systems and the audit data we have used to assure quality, effectiveness and safety. Logbook data were collected for 4342 cases, with detailed audit data collected for 260 cases. Safety is acceptable with a respiratory adverse incident rate of 0.5/1000 (95% CI 0.1-1.6/1000 cases). Unplanned, direct anaesthetic assistance was required in 3.5/1000 cases (95% CI 1.7-5.3/1000 cases). Anaesthetic advice was required in 7.5% cases (95% CI 4.2-10.7%) at the inception of the service, but rarely once established: 0.6% (95% CI 0.2-1.0%). Nearly all patients (99%) would have the same sedation method again, no patients required admission, and patients' co-operation was judged by the operating surgeon as very good or good in 91% of cases.

MeSH terms

  • Alfentanil / administration & dosage*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Medical Audit
  • Oocyte Retrieval / methods*
  • Propofol / administration & dosage*


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Alfentanil
  • Propofol