Postoperative nausea and vomiting in a gynecological and obstetrical population in South Eastern Nigeria

Pan Afr Med J. 2010;7:6. doi: 10.4314/pamj.v7i1.69111. Epub 2010 Oct 19.


Background: To determine the incidence of Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) in a high risk surgical group following studies in other predominately black populations that showed a lower rate of postoperative nausea and vomiting than that reported from Caucasian and Oriental populations.

Methods: A retrospective observational survey was conducted in the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, Nigeria to determine the incidence of PONV within forty-eight hours of anesthesia in an obstetrical (caesarean sections only) and gynecological population that underwent regional and general anesthesia. The study took place from December 2007-April 2009 (16 months) for the gynecological population and from May 2008 to May 2010 (25 months) for the obstetrical population. The folders of 300 patients were randomly reviewed for demographics, anesthetic technique, diagnosis and documented records of PONV within 48 hours of anesthesia.

Results: A total of 300 obstetrical and gynecological patients were used in this study. Twelve women vomited within forty-eight hours of anesthesia (12/300 or 4.0%). Nine patients vomited in the gynecological population (9/112) or 8% of the gynecological population and (3/186) or 1.6% in the obstetric population. All patients were American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) 1-4 including surgical emergencies.

Conclusion: The incidence of PONV in this surgical population is lower than that from most of the studies reviewed. This might be due to an inherent ethnic/racial variation. The economic implication of spending on expensive anti-emetics means more money can diverted to other needs.

Keywords: Africa; Postoperative; ethnicity; nausea; obstetrics and gynaecology; vomiting.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Gynecologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Obstetric Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Obstetric Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Young Adult