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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Anesthesiology, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care
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PERIOPERATIVE MEDICINE  SMART 2002 Milan, May 29-31, 2002

Minerva Anestesiologica 2002 April;68(4):166-70

language: English

Supplemental oxygen reduces the incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting

O. Akça, Sessler D. I. *

From the Director, Neurosciences ICU Assistant Director Outcomes Research® Institute; Assistant Professor Department of Anesthesiology University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
*Associate Dean for Research, Director Outcomes Research® Institute Weakley Distinguished University Research Chair University of Louisville; Professor and Vice-Chair
Ludwig Boltzmann Institute, University of Vienna Vienna, Austria


Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) are unpleasent for patients and increase the risk of aspiration pneumonia. PONV is the leading cause of unexpected admission following planned day surgery. Despite new anaesthetic drugs and antiemetics, the incidence of PONV remains high. The incidence of PONV depends numerous factors including age, gender, obesity, anxiety, gastroparesis, history of motion sickness, previous PONV, and the duration and type of surgery. Anaesthesia related factors include premedication, ventilation techniques, and postoperative pain management.
Recently, the intraoperative inspired oxygen concentration was identified as a factor that influences PONV. Among the three studies that evaluated intraoperative supplemental O2 for prevention of PONV, two found that it halves PONV while the third failed to identify any benefit.
Since supplemental O2 is inexpensive and essentially risk-free, it appears preferable to pharmacologic anti-emetics for prevention of PONV in abdominal surgery.

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