Purpose of review: The prevalence of procedures performed outside of the operating room is steadily growing around the world, especially in the United States. This review aims to discuss the risks and safety of anesthesia performed in remote locations based on an up-to-date literature review, with a focus on the results from closed claims and other database analyses.
Recent findings: The published literature in the last decade shows that there is an increase in nonoperating room anesthesia cases and that the highest number of these cases are in gastroenterology endoscopy suites. There are safety concerns in nonoperating room cases that involve both anesthesia and nonanesthesia providers. Specific complications found in closed claims analyses include airway compromise, aspiration pneumonia, and dental injuries.
Summary: The current literature demonstrates that procedures performed in the endoscopy suite make up the largest number of nonoperating room closed claims anesthesia cases. Oversedation and subsequent inadequate oxygenation/ventilation account for the majority of malpractice claims. Conclusions from the current literature emphasize the importance of complying with monitoring standards and having well prepared providers to improve patient outcomes in nonoperating room locations.