Length of stay in the postanaesthetic care unit at the university of Benin Teaching Hospital: An observational study
Despite the importance and increased cost of patient stay in Post Anaesthetic Care Unit (PACU) there is no agreement in acceptable duration of stay. This was a prospective observational study todetermine the lengthof stay at thePostAnaesthesia Care Unit of the main theatre Complex of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City. All patients scheduled for both elective and emergency surgical procedures in the main theatre complex of the hospital admitted into PACU were enlisted for the study. Length of stay in PACU was defined as the time from patients' admission into PACU to the time of discharge from PACU. Aldrete scoring system which monitors and scores physiological parameters such as pulse rate, respiratory rate, level of consciousness, level of activity was used to determine fitness for discharge fromPACU. Atotal of two hundred (200) patientswere studiedwith amean age of 30.81+/-21.49. The average length of stay in PACU was 75minutes +/-15 minutes. However, 10% of these patients stayed longer than 120 minutes in PACU which qualified for prolonged PACU stay. Patients' state at arrival in PACU and the preoperativeASAphysical statusweremain predictors of length of stay in PACU. The average length of stay in the PACU of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital from this studywas 75+/-15minutes.However, 10%of patients had prolonged stay, longer than 2 hours in the unit.