Hong Kong Med J 2006;12:339-44 | Number 5, October 2006
Twelve years' local experience in ambulatory anaesthesia
AKW Lai, V Ho, YF Chow
Department of Anaesthetia, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 30 Gascoigne Road, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVES. To determine the incidence of adverse events after ambulatory anaesthesia (postoperative nausea and vomiting, postoperative pain, difficulty in movement), and to evaluate the level of satisfaction of patients with our service.
DESIGN. Retrospective study with questionnaire survey.
SETTING. Tertiary referral centre, Hong Kong.
PARTICIPANTS. All patients whose duly completed questionnaires were available.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES. Incidence of adverse events and level of patient satisfaction.
RESULTS. A total of 9197 patients underwent surgery under general anaesthesia or neuraxial blockade by anaesthetists in ambulatory settings from October 1993 to December 2005: questionnaires filled out by 8231 of these patients were analysed, whereas 549 questionnaires were lost, and 417 patients could not be contacted. The response rate was 90%; 59% of the respondents were males, 50% were younger than 15 years and 5% older than 60 years. Fifty-one percent of surgery with anaesthetists' involvement was performed under general anaesthesia and 48.9% under general anaesthesia and regional blocks and 0.1% under neuraxial blockade. There were 3.3% of patients experienced postoperative nausea and vomiting, 60.2% experienced episodes of pain between the time of discharge and the time of interview, and 46% required analgesics. Nonetheless, 80% resumed normal activities within 5 hours after anaesthesia and 97.5% resumed normal diet the following morning. Over 99% rated our service as good or excellent.
CONCLUSION. Although ambulatory anaesthesia was associated with minor adverse events, patients could resume normal diet and daily activities quickly and were satisfied with the service.
Key words: Ambulatory care; Ambulatory surgical procedures; Anesthesia; Postoperative nausea and vomiting
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