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The Miami Valley Hospital (MVH) Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) is a highly specialized unit for patients who require special care after surgery and need individual nursing attention. It is an area of the hospital designated for “recovering” from the immediate effects of anesthesia before either going home or on to another in-hospital destination. No matter how simple or how complex a procedure, the goal of MVH PACU is to ensure all patients awaken safely and comfortably.

The PACU nurse facilitates the patient’s return to consciousness, without complications or adverse reactions to drugs or treatments. While the patient is in PACU, the staff will, when applicable:

  • Monitor vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and breathing
  • Monitor for any signs of complications
  • Monitor the patient’s level of consciousness
  • Continuously monitor and treat for any discomfort such as pain or nausea

The length of stay in the MVH PACU for any patient varies and is dependent upon factors such as the type of surgery performed, the patient’s response to surgery and anesthesia, and medical history. Most patients remember very little regarding their recovery room experience.

When the patient is ready for transfer to a hospital room or to the discharge area, family members are informed. The average stay in PACU is two hours. If a patient is still in PACU after two hours, our staff updates the family on the patient’s progress.

The PACU Team

All of our nurses are seasoned clinicians with a wide range of clinical backgrounds and expertise. The nurses of the PACU deliver patient care at the highest level of proficiency and efficiency, providing individualized care for each patient from pre-operative preparation through recovery.

PACU nurses are Registered Nurses (RNs), and the majority of the RNs have more than 20 years of experience. All MVH PACU RNs are experienced in critical care nursing and have Advanced Cardiac Life Support and CPR training. Some are Certified Perianesthesia Nurses as well as Certified Critical Care nurses. Many of our nurses have Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification. Some are Master’s-prepared nurses who have decided to stay bedside.

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