Post-anesthesia care unit

A post-anesthesia care unit, often abbreviated PACU and sometimes referred to as post-anesthesia recovery or PAR, is a vital part of hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and other medical facilities. It is an area, normally attached to operating room suites, designed to provide care for patients recovering from general anesthesia, regional anesthesia, or local anesthesia.

Common activities

The basic responsibilities of PACU staff include:

More intensive care may include:

Postoperative complications

Occasionally, life-threatening complications, such as laryngospasm, respiratory arrest, or malignant hyperthermia, can arise after anesthesia. Patients may be intubated because of anaphylaxis, pulmonary edema, pneumothorax, or long-term exposure to anesthesia and narcotics. Unless complications occur, most patients will only stay in the PACU for a few hours before returning home or to another department of the hospital.

See also

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