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Safe Practice of Total Intravenous Anesthesia With Target-Controlled Infusion in Taiwan: A Recommendation

Ahead-of-Print version of this article:10.6859/aja.202111/PP.0001


There have been immense advances in the safety and variety of intravenous anesthetic delivery systems including drug cost reduction, development of more effective opioids, and improvement in depth of anesthesia monitoring in the last 20 years. Propofol-based total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) with target-controlled infusion (TCI) is relatively easy to practice. While this technique promotes a higher overall anesthesia quality and patient survival, especially for cancer patients, there are deficiencies in training and education of the technique. Therefore, the Society for Intravenous Anesthesia and the Association of Anesthetists (United Kingdom) have laid out guidelines in an attempt to highlight multiple important TIVA-related safety issues to help clinicians feel more confident. In the present article, we discuss five recommendations and four special clinical situations. Preparation, equipment familiarity, and safe delivery techniques are extremely important for the proper employment of this method. Herein, we emphasize the importance of proper education, and the clinical practice experience of the TIVA technique. Additionally, we suggest a modified connection method to set up a safely administered line. We highlight the advantages of using processed electroencephalogram monitoring (such as bispectral index or Entropy) to prevent awareness during TIVA administration in difficult clinical situations. These situations may include triple low patients (e.g., low blood pressure, low maintained effect-site concentration of propofol, and low body weight ≤ 18), obese patients, and patients with difficult infusion site monitoring or use of neuromuscular blocking agents. Due to a limited consensus among Taiwanese medical professionals, this document is intended to act as a safe practice reference for the use of TIVA with TCI. Additionally, two pithy formula codes, 4321 for propofol with fentanyl/alfentanil and 42222111 for propofol with remifentanil, are provided for the general population and one pithy formula code, 4321 for propofol with fentanyl, is provided for pediatric patients.