Q3: Is ECG monitoring a national requirement for routine recovery?

Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland [1]:

‘An appropriate standard of monitoring should be maintained until the patient is fully recovered from anaesthesia.  Clinical observations should therefore be supplemented as in the operating theatre by a minimum of pulse oximetry, non-invasive blood pressure monitoring, ECG and, if patients tracheas remain intubated or have their airways maintained with a supraglottic or other similar airway device, continuous capnography.’

Royal College of Anaesthetists [3]:

‘Currently acceptable standards of patient monitoring should be available for all patients.  This includes pulse oximetry, and non-invasive blood pressure monitoring.  An electrocardiograph, nerve stimulator, thermometer and capnograph should be readily available’.

BARNA advice:

BARNA supports the recommendation from the RCOA that mandatory basic monitoring includes pulse oximetry and non-invasive blood pressure monitoring.   ECG monitoring equipment must be available for each bed area in PACU however, for any patient requiring monitoring.  PACU nurses should be competent in basic ECG rhythm recognition.

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Sources:

[1] Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland [2012,] Draft report of the AAGBI Immediate Post-anaesthetic Recovery Working Party. Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland, London
[2] British Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurses Association:Standards of Practice [reviewed 2012]  British Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurses Association, London
[3] Royal College of Anaesthetists [2009] Guidance on the provision of anaesthesia services, Chapter 4: Post-operative care. Royal College of Anasthetists, London


Barna. British Anaesthetic and Recovery Nurses Association