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Article
October 19, 1957

HAZARDS OF THE IMMEDIATE POSTOPERATIVE PERIOD

JAMA. 1957;165(7):795-799. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980250029007
Abstract

The surgical patient's welfare may be threatened by situations that develop in the interval between the termination of the operation and his arrival in the recovery room. It is essential that his condition be watched closely while his position is changed, the level of anesthesia is reduced, and the endotracheal tube is removed. This is particularly true if transfusions have been given for blood loss, respiration has been depressed by relaxants, or other factors exist that favor hemorrhage, embolism, anoxia, or vomiting. The excitement stage sometimes seen during induction has its counterpart in a delirium that sometimes occurs during emergence; the latter can be a traumatic experience to all concerned unless it is properly dealt with. The three primary causes for alarm are hypotension, respiratory obstruction or depression, and excitement. They must be watched for before and during the transportation of the patient to the recovery room.

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