A Retrospective, Descriptive, Exploratory Study Evaluating Incidence of Postoperative Urinary Retention After Spinal Anesthesia and Its Effect on PACU Discharge

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Postoperative urinary retention (POUR) is a common problem that occurs at rates ranging from 7% to 52%. It is uncertain exactly what patient-related or surgery factors may influence POUR. This retrospective, descriptive, exploratory study of 102 patients examined the incidence of POUR, its impact on length-of-stay, and the patient/procedural characteristics that are associated with POUR. The incidence of POUR in our facility was found to be 44.1%. Length-of-stay in the PACU was 26 minutes longer for patients with POUR; although not statistically significant, this was clinically significant. Mean bladder volume on admission to the PACU was 467.6 mL (range, 0 to 1000 mL) with >500 mL associated with POUR, χ2 = .00. A protocol for draining the patient's bladder at the end of the surgical procedure or immediately upon admission to the PACU could be beneficial to both patients and PACU nursing staff by reducing patient discomfort and length-of-stay.

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