Recovery units: the future of postoperative cardiac care
Massey, D & Meggit, G 1994, 'Recovery units: the future of postoperative cardiac care', Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, vol. 10. no. 1, pp. 71-74.
In the current climate of scarce financial resources health care managers have had to question the financial viability of a 36-hour stay in an ICU for patients undergoing cardiac surgery. The management of this group of patients has had to be reexamined. The solution to this problem appears to lie in the utilisation of a designated recovery area for the management of this group of patients. This paper is an audit of the first 100 cardiac patients who recovered in such a designated recovery unit. The audit examines types of operations performed, average length of time patients required artificial ventilation, blood loss in the first 4h, average length of stay in hospital, and postoperative complications. Possible methods of improving the utilisation of a recovery area in the management of postoperative cardiac patients are discussed. The conclusion is that utilisation of a designated recovery area for the immediate postoperative management of cardiac surgical patients is a financially viable alternative to an intensive care environment. More importantly, high quality service and care is maintained without increasing the utilisation of resources.