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Anasthesiol Intensivmed Notfallmed Schmerzther. 1998 Sep; 33(9): 545-51.

[Results of a survey of anesthetists on postoperative nausea and vomiting]

Eberhart LH, Morin AM, Felbinger TW, Falkner Y, Georgieff M, Seeling W.

Universitätsklinik für Anästhesiologie Ulm.

OBJECTIVE: Although an increasing number of studies concerning postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) have been performed, we do not know, what anaesthesiologists think about this problem and how they handle it in their daily routine. METHODS: A survey was performed involving anesthesiologists at 30 institutions of different size. 474 out of 1000 questionnaires were returned. RESULTS: When asked what kind of general anaesthesia they prefere in a woman at a very high risk to suffer PONV, the following answers were obtained: anaesthesia induction with propofol (78%), thiopentone (17%), etomidate (5%). Maintenance of anaesthesia with an inhalation anesthetic (44%) or with propofol (44%). The remaining 14% would use a combination of these techniques (6%) or neuroleptanaesthesia with droperidol (5%) or midazolam (1%). Only 10% of the respondants would omit nitrous oxide. There is no consensus about the optimal amount of intraoperative opioids. Fentanyl, alfentanil, and sufentanil are rated to contribute equally to the occurence of PONV, whereas opioids used for postoperative analgesia are thought to have substantial differences: piritramid is rated to be much less emetogenic than tramadol and morphine. 70% advocate routine antiemetic prophylaxis for high-risk patients (most often mentioned risk factors were: female sex: 85%, obesity: 81%, high doses of intraoperative opioids: 72%) and 23% administrate antiemetics even for all patients. Ondansetron and droperidol are suggested to be superior to metoclopramide, triflupromazine, dimenhydrinate, and transdermal scopolamine. However, metoclopramide is the drug of first choice for more than 50% of the respondants followed by droperidol, whereas only 29% use ondansetron as a first line drug. An unexpected high number of anaesthesiologists (13%) have experience with non-pharmacological methods for prophylaxis and treatment of PONV. Acupuncture/acupressure (10%) was most often mentioned. CONCLUSION: A great majority (93%) stated, that PONV is a relevant problem, that still remains unsolved. This proofs the need for further controlled studies.

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