Aim: To investigate whether discharge scoring criteria are as safe as clinical criteria for discharge decision and allow for earlier discharge.
Methods: About 220 consecutive outpatients undergoing colonoscopy under sedation with Meperidine plus Midazolam were enrolled and assigned to 2 groups: in Control-group (110 subjects) discharge decision was based on the clinical assessment; in PADSS-group (110 subjects) discharge decision was based on the modified Post-Anaesthetic Discharge Scoring System (PADSS). Measurements of the PADDS score were taken every 20 min after colonoscopy, and patients were discharged after two consecutive PADSS scores ≥ 9. The investigator called each patient 24-48 h after discharge to administer a standardized questionnaire, to detect any delayed complications. Patients in which cecal intubation was not performed and those who were not found at follow-up phone call were excluded from the study.
Results: Thirteen patients (7 in Control-group and 6 in PADSS-group) were excluded from the study. Recovery from sedation was faster in PADSS-group than in Control-group (58.75 ± 18.67 min vs 95.14 ± 10.85 min, respectively; P < 0.001). Recovery time resulted shorter than 60 min in 39 patients of PADSS-group (37.5%), and in no patient of Control-group (P < 0.001). At follow-up phone call, no patient declared any hospital re-admission because of problems related to colonoscopy and/or sedation. Mild delayed post-discharge symptoms occurred in 57 patients in Control-group (55.3%) and in 32 in PADSS-group (30.7%). The most common symptoms were drowsiness, weakness, abdominal distension, and headache. Only 3 subjects needed to take some drugs because of post-discharge symptoms.
Conclusion: The Post-Anaesthetic Discharge Scoring System is as safe as the clinical assessment and allows for an earlier patient discharge after colonoscopy performed under sedation.
Keywords: Colonoscopy; Complications; Conscious sedation; Patient discharge; Recovery room.