Recovery

Patients who have had major intracranial or spinal surgery should be cared for in a high-dependency area where they can receive intensive nursing care post-operatively. Frequent observations of cardiac and respiratory variables as well as neurological observations are mandatory for the early detection and treatment of complications such as bleeding. Postoperative nausea and vomiting are common after anesthesia and surgery, particularly posterior fossa surgery, and are multifactorial in origin [22]. Post-anesthetic shivering may occur, particularly after long operations, and is associated with a number of undesirable effects. Oxygen consumption, CO2 production and metabolic rate may increase by up to 500% and it is not well tolerated by patients with cardiac or pulmonary disease. Patients should be actively warmed to a core temperature of 36°C. Surface warming with a hot-air mattress is very effective.

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