Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Health Related Sciences

First Advisor

Salvatore A. Ceresi


The complication of postoperative nausea and vomiting is still one of the most common today. The potential for secondary complications associated with retching and vomiting such as aspiration pneumonitis strain of suture line with possible hemorrhage, and potential fluid and electrolyte imbalance makes prevention of retching and vomiting a primary concern in the management of the postoperative patient.

The use of antiemetic drugs to prevent or control postoperative nausea and vomiting is a long-standing practice. Droperidol, an antiemetic, routinely used since being introduced in 1963, has been found to be successful in treating postoperative nausea and vomiting. This study examines the effect of droperidol .018 mg/kg given intramuscularly one half hour prior to the end of anesthesia on postoperative emesis in the adult gynecological patient presenting for total abdominal hysterectomy.

Twelve patients were in this double-blind study, six acted as controls and six were in the experimental group. All subjects were premedicated with morphine sulfate 0.1 mg/kg and glycopyrrolate 0.2 mg, intramuscularly administered. All were induced with pentathol 4 mg/kg preceded by curare 3 mg and followed by succinylcholine 1.5 mg/kg for intubation. The subjects were maintained on isoflurane, sixty percent nitrous in oxygen, and pancuronium for relaxation. The subjects were of similar age and weight. Duration of anesthesia was similar with a mean of 2.93 hours overall.

The incidence of retching or vomiting was considered as the same result. The droperidol group had one subject retch only and another retch and vomit. This gave a 33 percent incidence of retching and vomiting. The control group had three subjects retch and vomit, giving a 50 percent incidence. The small sample size provided no statistical significance.

The results showed a trend of decreased vomiting in the adult subject presenting for total abdominal hysterectomy. The routine use of droperidol in this particular population cannot be recommended from these results.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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