Cigarette Smoking and the Effect on Length of Stay for Lumbar Discectomy/Laminectomy Patients in PACU
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The purpose of this retrospective study was to examine the correlation between smoking and length of stay in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit for patients having lumbar discectomy and/or laminectomy surgery. This study used a descriptive comparative design with two groups of lumbar spinal surgery patients; those who smoke and those who do not smoke. The investigation compared the difference in time spent in the Post Anesthesia Care Unit by the two groups of patients. The study also compared the difference in oxygen therapy necessary to maintain oxygen saturation above 90% between smokers and nonsmokers. To investigate the effect of smoking op length of stay in PACU, the charts of 87 patients having lumbar discectomy and/ or laminectomy were reviewed. Patients with a history of smoking (n = 45) were compared to nonsmokers (n = 42) for length of stay in PACU, complications, and the need for oxygen therapy at discharge to maintain oxygen saturation above 90%. Although the mean length of stay for patients in PACU was increased forı smokers, the results were not statistically significant. Patients with a smoking history had increased frequency of oxygen therapy at discharge equaling 28% compared to 19% for nonsmokers.Future studies should broaden the population and increase theı sample size to support and generalize findings.