A post anesthesia care unit, often abbreviated PACU, is a vital part of hospitals, ambulatory care centers, and other medical facilities. It is an area, normally attached to operating theatre suites, designed to provide care for patients recovering from anesthesia, whether it be general anaesthesia, regional anaesthesia, or local anesthesia.
The PACU staff, generally composed of highly trained nurses are charged with many vital tasks for the care of post-anaesthesia and post operative patients. These essential activities include:-
These common activities may often need supplementing with more intensive care or treatment. This may require :-
Occasionally, serious life threatening complications, such as laryngospasm or respiratory arrest, can arise post-anesthesia. Unless complications occur, most patients will only stay in the PACU for a few hours, before returning home or to another department of the hospital.