Postoperative nausea and vomiting

Most studies do not distinguish between nausea and vomiting. The frequency varies with age, being greatest in the age group between 6 and 16 years (34-51 per cent) and less in children under 5 years (about 20 per cent) and adults (14-40 per cent). It is more common in women than men and after major abdominal, laparoscopic, and ear, nose, and throat surgery (up to 70 per cent). The use of older inhalational anesthetics and opiates is associated with a greater frequency of nausea and vomiting (Kenny 1994). All patients are at risk of pulmonary aspiration during recovery from anesthesia if they vomit or regurgitate stomach contents.

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