Peri-operative fluid therapy is a controversial area with few randomized trials to guide practice. Fluid management has a significant influence on outcome following surgery. Yet practically, fluid prescription practice during this period is sub-optimal, resulting in avoidable iatrogenic complications.
Several studies have assessed the effect of a 'liberal' vs. a 'restrictive' perioperative fluid regimen on post-operative outcome. However, most of these studies have focused primarily on intra-operative fluid management, whereas postoperative strategies have been less well defined, even though the immediate postoperative period is of critical importance to the patient's recovery. Moreover, whereas intra-operative fluid administration is monitored by the anesthesiologist, postoperatively it is less supervised and may result in excess or lack of intravenous (IV) fluids. Therefore, fluid management audit at the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU) is of paramount importance for patient healthcare. The objective of this study is to follow and report the current practice of fluid administration in the PACU of Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, for an extended period of time as a first step towards establishing evidence-based guidelines for postoperative fluid management.