Objective: To identify the factors that prolong the length of stay in the post anaesthesia care unit (PACU).
Methods: This audit was conducted in the PACU of a university hospital. A special form was designed and filled for those patients who stayed unplanned in the PACU for more than two hours. All patients who were admitted to the PACU after surgery were included. Patients undergoing cardiothoracic surgery, those directly shifted to ICU and cases done under local anaesthesia were excluded. Data was collected for 20 months by a designated recovery nurse for all included patients including those admitted outside the scheduled surgery hours.
Results: The total number of patients who were admitted to the PACU during the audit period were 13644, out of these 1114 (8.1%) stayed in the PACU for more than 2 hours. The percentage of overstay patients on monthly basis ranged from 6.4% to 10%. The commonest reason was the need for postoperative monitoring 578 (51.8%), unavailability of beds in the special care areas 264 (23.7%), pain management 68 (6.1%) and 61 (5.4 %) for postoperative ventilation.
Conclusion: Our results show that majority of patients stayed in the PACU for more than two hours either because they needed postoperative monitoring or because of unavailability of bed in the special care areas.
Journal of Pakistan Medical Association
(2006). Unplanned prolonged postanaesthesia care unit length of stay and factors affecting it. Journal of Pakistan Medical Association, 56(3), 108-112.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/pakistan_fhs_mc_anaesth/100