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Managing Patients in Post Anesthesia Care Unit

The post-anesthesia care unit is an essential area in a hospital which is used to give care for patients recovering from anesthesia as a result of surgery. It’s located with proximity to the operation room with distinctive entry and exit routes. This unit has highly skilled staff and equipped with facilities which allow timely intervention and treatment of any complication resulting from the operation. Chances that a particular complication will occur in a given patient will primarily depend on the kind of surgery being performed, anesthetic techniques used and medical history of the patient. If the necessary steps are taken into consideration, that’s appropriate preoperative examination and medical optimization, then some of the complications are minimized.

The main complications eminent in patients having undergone surgery with anesthesia include post-operative urinary retention, hypothermia/hyperthermia, nausea & vomiting, respiratory, cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric complications.

Postoperative nausea and vomiting is most common complication which is a result of patient discomfort. Its occurrence varies from patient to patient and can be controlled once it shows up by administering prophylaxis.

Hypothermia is unconditional shivering this is a result of heat loss during the operation, lack of muscle tone and generally the anesthetic agents used. It’s controlled by skin surface warming, ample oxygen supply, administering agents such as opiods and decreasing the blood pressure during the surgery.

Post-operative urinary retention is a condition whereby a patient feels the need of relieving one’s self but is not in a position to, discharged without knowledge or a pain caused by tension on the bladder. It occurs predominantly in patients who are associated with urinal problems as a result of this, they are advised accordingly and other techniques such as ultra-sound are used. Post-operative urinary retention can be minimized by performing safe and proper surgery that does not damage the bladder. Neuropsychiatric complications are a result of surgeries performed on the heart and the major blood vessels causing problems in the nervous system. In order to mitigate these complications different anesthetic agents are used depending on patients’ medical history.

In post anesthesia care unit patients are observed for excessive bleeding. It can be controlled by medication facilitating blood clotting and proper sealing of the wound. Also in patients in this unit need to be administered with pain killers as a result post-operative pain. This is achieved by giving the patients correct dosage at specific time intervals.


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