To assess the efficacy of the analgesic technique and the incidence of complications, we prospectively evaluated patients who received intrathecal opioid analgesia (ITOA) to manage postsurgical pain. Daily quality assurance data were collected on the first postoperative day and tabulated for 5969 adult patients who had received ITOA for major urologic, orthopedic, general/vascular, thoracic, and nonobstetrical gynecologic surgery. A scale of 1-10 was used to quantify each patient's satisfaction with analgesia. The incidence of side effects, complications, and naloxone usage was also recorded and tabulated. The mean satisfaction score using a 10-point numeric rating scale was 8.51, with a score of 1 connoting 'complete dissatisfaction' and 10 connoting 'complete satisfaction.' Side effects were minor and easily managed. Pruritus was the most common (37%). Respiratory depression was the least common (3%), easily detected by nursing observation, never life- threatening, and always responsive to treatment with naloxone. There were no deaths, nerve injuries, central nervous system infections, or naloxone- related complications. Postdural puncture headaches were rare (0.54%), as was the need for epidural blood patch (0.37%). Implications: Over a 7-yr period, intrathecal opioid analgesia was used to control acute postoperative pain on nearly 6000 patients, resulting in a high degree of patient satisfaction and a low incidence of side effects and complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine