Patients who must undergo surgery with general anesthesia sometimes experience nausea and vomiting. This is a potential side effect of general anesthesia and is termed post-operative nausea and vomiting, or PONV. The screening process prior to surgery usually includes questions regarding previous problems with PONV; however, this only applies to patients who have had previous experiences with surgery and general anesthesia. Relying on a patients’ history of PONV alone to predict this unwanted side effect limits the providers’ ability to assess and prophylactically treat PONV. Assessing for risk of PONV using a pre-operative risk assessment tool can help to identify those who are at increased risk and potentially prevent PONV. Incorporating a preoperative risk screening tool as well as a prophylactic protocol based on risk would give providers a consistent process for screening patients without relying on a history of PONV. This process would ensure patients are treated with appropriate prophylaxis to reduce incidence of PONV allowing for all patients to be screened rather than just in those who have had previous surgery. PONV has many potential complications for patients, staff, and the surgical facility. Even though PONV may be a side effect of anesthesia it may create an overall negative experience for patients, which has the potential to affect the facility’s patient satisfaction ratings.
Date of publication
MSN Capstone Project
Masters of science in Nursing
Majors, Lindsay, "Post-operative Nausea and Vomiting Risk Assessment" (2021). MSN Capstone Projects. Paper 111.