Vomiting is unpleasant. Nearly 30% of all patients suffer from nausea and vomiting after surgery. The financial repercussions of this are longer patient stays in the recovery room, with increased need for personnel. Appropriate prophylaxis and treatment can prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting. In a systematic review of the literature, Dirk Rüsch and co-authors investigate how treatment recommendations for nausea after general anesthesia can be improved (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2010; 107: 733 741). The pathogenesis of postoperative nausea remains unclear, but it has been possible to identify some risk factors. Patient-dependent risk factors include female sex, susceptibility to motion sickness, and nonsmoker status. On the basis of such factors, established prognosis systems can be used to assess risks and identify high-risk patients.
There are compatible, thoroughly evaluated antiemetics available for prophylaxis in children and adults. When these substances are combined from groups with different active ingredients, their effects are cumulative.
To treat postoperative nausea, the authors recommend swift administration of drugs and close monitoring.
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