Post-operative neuromuscular function of patients receiving non-depolarising muscle relaxants at Universitas Hospital, Bloemfontein, South Africa: research

  • WT Nell
  • N Stevenson
  • T Ridgard
  • FW Van der Westhuizen
  • J Diederick
  • G Joubert


Objectives: To determine the number of patients whose non-depolarising muscle relaxation is adequately reversed. To define factors that contribute to reversal.

Design: A cross sectional study.

Setting: Universitas Hospital recovery room over a 2 month period.

Subjects: Patients that received non-depolarising muscle relaxants and who gave informed consent.

Outcome measures: A quantitative train-of-four (TOF) ratio was determined within 5 to 15 minutes after arrival in the recovery room.

Results: Recovery to TOF>0.9: 57.1% [95% CI 44.8%; 68.9%] patients. Recovery to TOF >0.8: 82.9% [95% CI 72.0%; 90.8%] patients. More patients who received vecuronium recovered to a TOF <0.8 compared with atracurium and cis-atracurium (Fisher's exact test, p=0.0151).

Conclusions: The muscle relaxation of many patients is not fully reversed in the recovery room, despite a long time lapse since the last drug administration, as well as the administration of neostigmine.

SAJAA Vol.10(1) 2004: 6-8

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2220-1173
print ISSN: 2220-1181