New Monitors Keep Our Patients Safe

New advances in intravenous sedation have made endoscopic tests such as gastroscopy and colonoscopy painless. At Three Rivers Endoscopy Center, your doctor will adminster medication through an intravenous catheter during your exam. The purpose of the medication is to make you comfortable during your procedure and afterward in recovery.

MAC Anethesia

We now use the servies of Western Pennsylvania Anesthesia Associates who provide our patients a form of anesthesia called Monitored Anthesia Care or MAC anesthesia. MAC allows the loss of pain without a total loss of consciousness.

A monitored anesthesia care technique usually involves the administration of intravenous anesthetic drugs, oxygen (given with a nasal cannula or face mask), and standard patient monitoring procedures similar to those used during a general anesthetic. MAC implies that the trachea (windpipe) is NOT intubated. Because MAC usually entails the administration of lower doses of anesthetic drugs than with a general anesthetic, the recovery period tends to be shorter.

In addition to keeping the patient pain-free during the procedure, MAC relieves the stress and anxiety almost always associated with any medical procedure. In fact, at the conclusion of most tests, patients usually ask, "When are you going to start?" Some patients express concern that they will say or do embarrassing things while they are sedated or they will divulge a secret. Rest assured that these medications do not work like that.


If you have a "scope" test at Three Rivers Endoscopy Center you will notice several monitoring devices placed on your body prior to your procedure. Safety during your sedation is of utmost importance to us. That is why we recently upgraded all 12 of our patient monitors to the latest Welch-Allyn Atlas system to assure your well-being. These sophisticated devices are more precise extensions of our own senses. Their intuitive design, rapid real time response, large bright waveforms and LED numerics that are visible from across the room makes the Atlas monitor the ideal solution for patient monitoring before, during, and after procedures performed using conscious sedation.


These devices are:

  • Blood pressure cuff - measures your blood pressure at frequent intervals during your anesthesia. This may be tight on your arm for a few seconds about every 5 minutes. The first time is the tightest as the machine senses your normal blood pressure range.
  • Pulse oximeter - a device placed on your finger, toe, or earlobe that measures the amount of oxygen in your body at all times and in addition displays your pulse rate.
  • EKG (electrocardiogram) - A constant picture of your heart tracing is displayed on a monitor screen for us to see. Small electrodes may be placed on your chest or back to gather this information for the EKG machine. This lastest model also displays the reading from the blood pressure cuff and the blood oxygen level from the finger oximeter probe.
In summary, these monitoring techniques improve the safety of the administration of your sedation, allowing your test to be as painless and safe as possible.