Who is at risk for postdischarge nausea and vomiting after ambulatory surgery?

Christian C. Apfel, Beverly K. Philip, Ozlem S. Cakmakkaya, Ashley Shilling, Yun Ying Shi, John B. Leslie, Martin Allard, Alparslan Turan, Pamela Windle, Jan Odom-Forren, Vallire D. Hooper, Oliver C. Radke, Joseph Ruiz, Anthony Kovac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

228 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: About one in four patients suffers from postoperative nausea and vomiting. Fortunately, risk scores have been developed to better manage this outcome in hospitalized patients, but there is currently no risk score for postdischarge nausea and vomiting (PDNV) in ambulatory surgical patients. METHODS:: We conducted a prospective multicenter study of 2,170 adults undergoing general anesthesia at ambulatory surgery centers in the United States from 2007 to 2008. PDNV was assessed from discharge until the end of the second postoperative day. Logistic regression analysis was applied to a development dataset and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was calculated in a validation dataset. RESULTS:: The overall incidence of PDNV was 37%. Logistic regression analysis of the development dataset (n = 1,913) identified five independent predictors (odds ratio; 95% CI): female gender (1.54; 1.22 to 1.94), age less than 50 yr (2.17; 1.75 to 2.69), history of nausea and/or vomiting after previous anesthesia (1.50; 1.19 to 1.88), opioid administration in the postanesthesia care unit (1.93; 1.53 to 2.43), and nausea in the postanesthesia care unit (3.14; 2.44-4.04). In the validation dataset (n = 257), zero, one, two, three, four, and five of these factors were associated with a PDNV incidence of 7%, 20%, 28%, 53%, 60%, and 89%, respectively, and an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.72 (0.69 to 0.73). CONCLUSIONS:: PDNV affects a substantial number of patients after ambulatory surgery. We developed and validated a simplified risk score to identify patients who would benefit from long-acting prophylactic antiemetics at discharge from the ambulatory care center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-486
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Who is at risk for postdischarge nausea and vomiting after ambulatory surgery?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this