Preoperative Risk Assessment to Guide Prophylaxis and Reduce the Incidence of Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


This article describes the implementation of a postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) risk prediction and prophylaxis protocol.


This is a retrospective pre/post implementation quality improvement project.


This project used chart reviews to assess the impact of the implemented PONV assessment and prophylaxis in a sample population of adult females undergoing gynecologic surgical procedures.


The mean number of prophylactic antiemetics administered significantly increased during the postimplementation period from 3.64 (SD, 0.878) in the preimplementation period to 4.07 (SD, 1.021) in the postimplementation period (P < .001). The greatest increase in antiemetic administration occurred in the moderate-risk (risk score, 4) and the high-risk (risk score, 5 to 6) groups. The incidence of PONV decreased from 32.3% in the preimplementation period to 28.9% in the postimplementation period; however, this reduction did not meet statistical significance. Antiemetic administration compliance increased from 37% in the preimplementation group to 61% in the postimplementation group (P < .001).


The results of this project suggest that a risk-tailored approach to PONV prophylaxis using a risk assessment tool along with treatment recommendations is effective at reducing the incidence of PONV. The effectiveness of this approach is limited by the involvement of the anesthesia providers responsible for completing the assessments and administering PONV prophylaxis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Thomas, JS; Maple, IK; Norcross, W; Muckler, VC

Published Date

  • February 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 34 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 74 - 85

PubMed ID

  • 29945846

Pubmed Central ID

  • 29945846

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1532-8473

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1089-9472

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.jopan.2018.02.007


  • eng