Incidence of Postoperative Residual Paralysis in a Nigerian Teaching Hospital

  • AA Majekodunmi
  • OA Ikotun
  • OD Oladokun
Keywords: Incidence, neuromuscular blockade, Nigeria, postoperative, residual paralysis


Background: Postoperative residual paralysis (PORP) is a known risk factor after general anesthesia (GA) for critical respiratory events and increased postoperative morbidity. PORP is defined as a train‑of‑four ratio (TOFR) of <0.9 using acceleromyography (AMG). TOFR <0.9 has been associated with increased risk of aspiration, obstruction of the upper airway and an impaired hypoxic ventilatory response. Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of PORP, associated factors related with its occurrence and critical respiratory events in the postanesthesia recovery room (PAR) at our institution. Methodology: Forty‑one adult patients were scheduled for elective surgeries requiring GA with the use of at least 1 dose of a nondepolarizing neuromuscular blocking drug (NMBD). An independent anesthetist quantitatively measured TOFR of recruited patients postoperatively in the recovery room using the TOF-watch SX acceleromyograph (Organon Teknika) 5 min after arrival. Results: The incidence of PORP was 75.6% (n = 31), with severe PORP (TOFR <0.7) seen in 41.5% (n = 17) of patients. Median time to full recovery in the PAR was 33 min (range 5–164 min). There was no statistical difference in the incidence of PORP related to the choice of NMBD (P = 0.186) or duration of surgery (P = 0.175). No respiratory complications or events were observed in patients with residual blockade. Conclusion: The incidence of PORP is quite high and undetected in our environment. Quantitative monitoring for residual paralysis is advocated as part of routine monitoring with the use of NMBDs for improved patient safety.

Keywords: Incidence, neuromuscular blockade, Nigeria, postoperative, residual


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eISSN: 1119-3077