Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Patient information and consent

Information in this context includes information related to the endoscopic procedure and should include why the procedure is being done, what it involves, preparation for the procedure, and the risks. The patient should be told what he/she might expect to happen after the procedure (including contact details in case of emergency) and the plan of aftercare. The patient should be informed about the options for sedation and how this might affect their perception of the procedure and the associated restrictions on travelling home.

The consent process involves an explanation of the procedure, the potential benefits, the risks and possible consequences. Consent for endoscopic procedures begins with a recommendation to have the examination, and ends when the procedure is complete. The individual must have the opportunity to withdraw consent at any stage during this process. 

The key elements of patient information for endoscopy include: 

  •  considerations related to current medications including anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents;
  • considerations related to previous medical illnesses;
  •  the benefits of the test; how to prepare for the procedure (including bowel cleansing); 
  •  the nature of the procedure and what it involves;
  •  possible adverse events including discomfort and complications; 
  •  what support the patient may need after the procedure, particularly if they are sedated; 
  • and the importance of not driving or making important decisions after sedation. 

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