Document Type

Original Report


Anesthesia and Analgesia | Anesthesiology


Objectives: To compare postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) prophylaxis treatment and outcomes based on patients’ sex, using a retrospective cohort. The setting was the operating room and post-anesthesia care unit of a tertiary care university medical center.

Patients: A total of 678 adult male and female patients with American Society of Anesthesiologist (ASA) scores of 1-4 underwent surgery with general anesthesia. All patients received preoperative PONV risk assessment. PONV prophylaxis was administered at the discretion of the anesthesia care team members with guidance from a computerized decision support system.

Measurements: Adequacy of prophylaxis was retrospectively determined based on individual patient risk factors and the observed treatment received, compared with guideline-based prophylaxis recommendations. Patient outcome was measured by diagnosis of PONV in recovery.

Results: Comparing patients who received fewer than the guideline-recommended number of prophylactic antiemetics by sex, 94.6% were female and 5.4% were males (p < 0.001). Patients who received fewer than guideline-recommended number of antiemetics had significantly higher rates of nausea or vomiting in the post-anesthesia care unit (30.4% vs 17.5%, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: This retrospective cohort study shows that female patients receiving general anesthesia are disproportionately affected by failure to adhere to PONV prevention guidelines.



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