Postoperative residual curarization from intermediate-acting neuromuscular blocking agents delays recovery room discharge

A. Butterly, E. A. Bittner, E. George, W. S. Sandberg, M. Eikermann, U. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Scopus citations

Abstract

BackgroundPostoperative residual curarization (PORC) [train-of-four ratio (T4/T1) <0.9] is associated with increased morbidity and may delay postoperative recovery room (PACU) discharge. We tested the hypothesis that postoperative T4/T1 <0.9 increases PACU length of stay.MethodsAt admission to the PACU, neuromuscular transmission was assessed by acceleromyography (stimulation current: 30 mA) in 246 consecutive patients. The potential consequences of PORC-induced increases in PACU length of stay on PACU throughput were estimated by application of a validated queuing model taking into account the rate of PACU admissions and mean length of stay in the joint system of the PACU plus patients recovering in operation theatre waiting for PACU beds.ResultsPACU length of stay was significantly longer in patients with T4/T1 <0.9 (323 min), compared with patients with adequate recovery of neuromuscular transmission (243 min). Age (P=0.021) and diagnosis of T4/T1 <0.9 (P=0.027), but not the type of neuromuscular blocking agent, were independently associated with PACU length of stay. The incidence of T4/T1 <0.9 was higher in patients receiving vecuronium. Delayed discharge significantly increases the chances of patients having to wait to enter the PACU. The presence of PORC is estimated to be associated with significant delays in recovery room admission.ConclusionsPORC is associated with a delayed PACU discharge. The magnitude of the effect is clinically significant. In our system, PORC increases the chances of patients having to wait to enter the PACU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)304-309
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Anaesthesia
Volume105
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • muscle skeletal
  • neuromuscular block
  • recovery
  • relaxation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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