A revolution for nausea
- By: David Holt
Postoperative orders are fairly standardised, and hospitals commonly use a checklist to allow doctors to check the needed drugs rapidly. Surgical patients are more or less healthy, and we assume that a checklist will serve most patients well. One category of postoperative drugs is antiemetics, and the most commonly used are those on the checklist, such as dimenhydrinate or diphenhydramine.
In follow-up assessments of patients we are less likely to consider matters already covered by the checklist. We commonly ask about chest pain, shortness of breath, leg swelling, bowel movements, and pain for our postoperative patients-but rarely about nausea. Only when a patient started vomiting while I was taking the history did nausea come up as a problem. We spoke about it, but my fears were largely allayed when I saw a bag of intravenous diphenhydramine hanging above the patient's head and assumed it just needed some time to take