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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

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TENNANT, Ingrid et al. Minor postoperative complications related to anesthesia in elective gynecological and orthopedic surgical patients at a teaching hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2012, vol.62, n.2, pp.193-198. ISSN 0034-7094.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Minor postoperative anesthetic complications may increase patient discomfort and dissatisfaction and delay recovery. This paper sought to determine the frequency of minor complications in the first 48 hours postoperatively reported by elective gynecological and orthopedic surgical patients at the University Hospital of the West Indies, Jamaica. Overall satisfaction with anesthetic care and possible risk factors for developing complications were also assessed. METHODS: A prospective, descriptive cohort study was undertaken with patient interviews 24 to 48 hours after anesthesia. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 12 and assessed using the χ2-square test and multiple logistic regression models. RESULTS: Five hundred and five (505) patients were included, with 374 females (74%). Most were ASA I (55%) or ASA II (38%) and had general anesthesia (80%). A total of 419 (83%) patients reported at least one complication postoperatively. The most frequently reported complications were sore throat (44%), nausea (30%), vomiting (24%), and thrombophlebitis (20%). The mode of the Verbal Numerical Rating Score (VNRS) for each complication ranged between 2 and 5, suggesting that most did not cause severe distress. Age less than 45 years (OR 2.22, 95% CI 1.34-3.69, p = 0.002) and female gender (OR 3.64, 95% CI 2.14-6.20, p < 0.001) were identified as significant independent variables. Most patients regarded their anesthetic experience as excellent (51%) or very good (22%). CONCLUSION: This study showed a comparatively high incidence of minor postoperative complications (83%), but low reported severity of symptoms and a high overall satisfaction rate. Special attention should be paid to reduce these minor complications through more meticulous anesthetic technique.

Keywords : Anesthesia Department; Patient Satisfaction; Postoperative Complications; Postoperative Period.

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