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« Previous AbstractBehavioural changes in children following day-case surgery: a 4-week follow-up of 551 children    Next AbstractAwareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in Canada »


Title:Postoperative symptoms at home following day-case surgery in children: a multicentre survey of 551 children
Author(s):Kotiniemi, L. H. Ryhanen, P. T. Valanne, J. Jokela, R. Mustonen, A. Poukkula, E.
Address:Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Oulu, Finland.
Year:1997 Oct
Journal Title:Anaesthesia
Page Number:963-9
ISSN/ISBN:0003-2409 (Print). 0003-2409 (Linking)
Abstract:The incidence and duration of postoperative symptoms in children at home following day-case anaesthesia and surgery was evaluated using a questionnaire completed by parents of 551 children aged 4 months to 13.4 years (mean 3.8 years). They also evaluated the instructions given in hospital for care at home. The incidence of all symptoms was highest at home on the day of the operation. No postoperative symptoms were reported in 79 (14%) children. The incidence of pain was 56% and the only significant predictor was the type of operation, tonsillectomy being the most problematic (mild pain in 38% and severe in 25%; pain lasted 7 days or longer in 33%). Analgesics were given to 78% of all the children reported to have pain on the day of the operation, to 60% the next day and later to 58%; 19 (3%) children were given more than two doses per day. The instructions given in hospital for the treatment of pain were considered inadequated by 12% of parents. Postoperative nausea and vomiting occurred in 13% of children. Predictors by multiple stepwise logistic regression analysis were emetic symptoms in hospital, pain at home, age > 5 years and administration of postoperative opioid (pethidine or fentanyl). Opioid given during anaesthesia (fentanyl or alfentanil) did not increase the incidence. Emetic symptoms were most common after tonsillectomy (31%). The highest incidences of emetic symptoms (37%), sedation (96%) and dizziness (41%) occurred in children who had been given fentanyl for postoperative pain. Undertreatment of nausea in hospital was evident as only two children had received anti-emetics, even though 61 were reported to have emetic symptoms. Administration of effective anti-emetics should be encouraged, as emetic symptoms in hospital were the most significant predictor of nausea and vomiting at home. Treatment of pain at home and instructions for treatment of pain need to be improved.

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