Using the Miller Patient Classification framework, a descriptive three-phase study was carried out in order to develop a classification system specifically for the PACU of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. This study contributes further understanding of the complexities of developing a reliable classification system for the pediatric PACU.
Although obstetric patients are generally healthy, population risk is increasing because of increases in maternal age, obesity, and rates of multifetal pregnancies, and complications may occur in the immediate postoperative period. In this study, we sought to identify the current level of recovery care for obstetric patients in North American academic institutions after either general or major neuraxial anesthesia for cesarean delivery.
A survey of obstetric anesthesia recovery practices was delivered electronically to 135 obstetric anesthesiology directors of North American academic institutions from June to October, 2007. Surveys were completed electronically and anonymously.
The response rate was 54.8% (74 of 135). Respondents reported a median of 2550 deliveries per year (interquartile range [IQR] 2000, 4000), with 30% delivered by cesarean delivery (IQR 25.5%, 32.5%) and 5% of cesarean deliveries performed under general anesthesia (IQR 4%, 8%). Most institutions recovered postcesarean patients in either an obstetric perianesthesia care unit or a labor, delivery, and recovery room. Recovery care was staffed solely by perinatal nurses, rather than dedicated perianesthesia care unit nurses in most institutions. Forty-five percent (28 of 62) of institutions had no specific postanesthesia recovery training for nursing staff providing postcesarean care for patients recovering from neuraxial or general anesthesia. Forty-three percent (29 of 67) of respondents rated the recovery care provided to cesarean delivery patients as lower quality than care given to general surgical patients. Respondents who relied solely on perinatal nurses to provide postanesthesia care were most likely to perceive that postanesthetic care for cesarean delivery was of lower quality than that given to general surgery patients (P = 0.008).
Guidelines put forth by the American Society of Anesthesiologists Task Force on Postanesthetic Care and the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses apply to all postoperative patients regardless of their recovery locations. Results from this survey suggest that the level of care provided for postanesthesia recovery from cesarean delivery in North American academic institutions may not meet these guidelines.