Duke anesthesiologists have found that a "Doppler" technique of using reflected sound waves to measure the heart?s pumping action can better guide the administration of fluids and plasma during major surgery. They have found that the use of Doppler technology appears to reduce hospital stays and to speed patient recovery.
Additionally, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers, these patients experience less postoperative nausea and vomiting and are able to eat solid foods much earlier. The researchers say that by not allowing fluid levels to drop below normal -- which is common during surgery -- the proper functioning of the intestines are maintained and recovery is improved.
Typically, fluids such as blood, plasma or synthetic agents known as plasma expanders are administered to patients during surgery to compensate for blood loss and to maintain blood pressure. Physicians add these fluids in response to changes in blood pressure, urine output or heart rate. Instead of this reactive approach, the Duke researchers proactively used an esophageal Doppler monitor (EDM) to obtain continuous readings of cardiac output.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
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