Epidural Analgesia in the Postoperative Period
Uniformed Services University Of The Health Sciences Bethesda United States
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Postoperative pain is an unwanted side effect of surgery, and is associated with many postoperative complications. This descriptive study was conducted to determine which surgical patients experienced the most analgesia with the fewest side effects when receiving epidural analgesia in the postoperative period. A retrospective chart audit of 200 surgical patients who received epidural medications for pain management was conducted. The sample was obtained from a 90-bed hospital. A description of the patients age, gender, type of surgery, type of epidural medication, side effects, incidence of breakthrough pain, and treatments were recorded and cross-tabulated. The following surgical categories emerged abdominal, orthopedic, thoracic, and lower extremityvascular. Breakthrough pain was reported in 27 of the cases. Lower extremityvascular surgery patients had the lowest incidence of side effects. Thoracic surgery patients had the highest incidence of breakthrough pain, and abdominal surgery had the highest incidence of nauseavomiting, pruritis, and respiratory depression. Morphine and bupivacaine provided the best analgesia, but had the highest incidence of side effects.