For most patients, recovery from anesthesia is a smooth and uneventful part of a carefully conducted anesthetic and surgical procedure. However, when patients are at high risk or are unstable, or when complications arise during the conduct of anesthesia or in the early recovery period, prompt intervention by skilled medical and nursing personnel is required. Therefore postanesthesia care units (PACUs) have evolved into highly specialized areas which are able to care simultaneously for patients recovering from routine surgery under general or regional anesthesia, and for critically ill or unstable patients who require intensive monitoring and cardiorespiratory therapy until discharge to a ward or transfer to an intensive care unit (ICU).

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