Prolonged-stay patients in the PACU: A review of the literature

Sharifa Bashir Lalani, Fauziya Ali, Zeenatkhanu Kanji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The postanesthesia care unit (PACU) provides general to intensive care to immediate postsurgical patients. Patients with extensive surgeries are often kept in PACU until their condition is stabilized before shifting them to their designated wards, creating more demands on PACU nurses. A prolonged patient stay in a PACU is a crucial issue as it creates bottlenecks that may result in the slowing down of the surgical schedule, leading to dissatisfaction for surgeons, nurses, patients, and their families. A literature search was undertaken to understand the definition and causes of prolonged PACU patient stay and the impact of these prolonged stays on PACU function and flow. Limited studies discuss the impact of prolonged PACU stays on patients, families, and PACU nurses. Future research is required to explore the experiences of PACU nurses related to prolonged-stay patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Perianesthesia Nursing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013


  • Length of stay
  • Literature review
  • Postanesthesia care unit (PACU)


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