Emergency critical care has become a growing area of concern in the present century, with particular concern for postoperative morbidity and mortality among high-risk patients; with the advent of the postanesthesia care unit (PACU), the quality of patient care along with postoperative morbidity has significantly improved.
The National Confidential Enquiry into patient outcome and death reported that a system was needed to be devised for patients with a high risk of perioperative complications, including postoperative care, hence emphasizing the need for PACU.
PACU or recovery room is specifically structured and staffed to monitor and manage patients recovering from the effects of anesthesia and surgery, thereby serving as a bridge from one-to-one monitoring in the operation theater (OT) to less focused monitoring in the ward.
Recovery room/PACU is usually built close to the OT complex and has a specified number of beds, depending upon the number of OTs and OT turnover. The facility should be open to allow each recovery bay to be observed at all times. The beds are to be spaced out to allow unobstructed access to trolleys, X-ray equipment, and resuscitation carts. The basic structure consists of the following:
It is a term used to describe a self-contained mobile unit that virtually contains all of the materials, drugs, and devices necessary to perform a code. It is placed in an easily accessible location and can be moved on wheels when needed. It is a tall, five-drawer cart, with each drawer having a separate set of contents with a list attached to it.
The first drawer comprises four rows with specific constituents (Table 42.1).
The second drawer has also four rows with specific contents (Table 42.2).
The fourth drawer is designed to store respiratory equipment and supplies for both adults and pediatric patients. The front half of the drawer can be divided into two detachable compartments (pediatric and adult), one of which can be removed and placed at the head of the bed during resuscitation, depending on the patient’s age group. The back half will contain the rest of the supplies: compact surgical airway set (cricothyroidotomy), batteries and light bulbs for the laryngoscope, tape, endotracheal tube holders, CO2 detector, and xylocaine spray.
The fifth drawer is reserved for larger instruments and supplies needed for special procedures. The contents of this drawer include central venous catheters (3–7 Fr/single and triple lumen); intraosseous kit; cut-down tray; umbilical catheterization set (3.5 and 5 F); chest tubes (sizes 10–42); thoracostomy kit; thoracotomy kit; suture set; delivery set; trauma tourniquets; pericardiocentesis kit; sterile stapler; and burr hole manual drill kit.