The present study aimed to evaluate subjective reactions of post-surgery and anesthesia patients who stay in post-anesthesia care units (PACU) longer than necessary medically, due to administrative causes. We interviewed consenting postoperative patients during an 18-month period. All patients who remained in the PACU twice our obligatory PACU length of stay (> 4 hours) due to lack of an available bed in the appropriate hospital ward, were interviewed at the time of discharge. The study group consisted of those who remained > 4 hours after surgery and a control group of patients who were discharged within 4 hours. The questions were chosen from different sources, including generic and condition-specific questionnaires. A total of 67 patients stayed > 4 hours and 63 < 4 hours. The overall mean PACU length of stay for the former was 14.23 +/- 5.77 hours (range 1.5-30 hours). No significant differences were found between the groups in terms of age, gender, surgical time or postoperative pain visual analogue scale. Irritability due to lack of independence were statistically higher, and satisfaction rates were lower in patients who stayed > 12 hours compared to those who were discharged after 4-12 hours (P < 0.05). Overcrowded wards may lead to significant delays in discharge from the PACU. Prolonged stay in the PACU requires attention, both from the administrative and the medical standpoints, because it may irritate the patient. Patients' irate behavior may distract the medical staff from effectively performing their duties and interferes with optimal medical care in the PACU.
|Pages (from-to)||446-450, 500|
|State||Published - Aug 2013|