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Efficacy of Subarachnoid Morphine in a Community Hospital
  1. Marc Domsky, D.O.* and
  2. Jerome Kwartowitz, D.O.**
  1. *From the Department of Anesthesia, Detroit Receiving Hospital, and the
  2. **Department of Anesthesia, Botsford General Hospital, Farmington Hills, Michigan.
  3. *Attending Physician.
  4. **Chairman.
  1. Address correspondence to Marc Domsky, D.O., Department of Anesthesia, Detroit Receiving Hospital, 4201 St. Antoine St., Detroit, MI 48201.


Background and Objective. Two hundred seventy-five patients who underwent major surgery and received subarachnoid morphine for postoperative pain relief were prospectively studied to establish the benefits of its routine use in a community hospital.

Results. Seventy-nine percent of all patients had a satisfactory analgesic-free interval of 18 hours, and postoperative analgesics were unnecessary for the first 24 hours in 56% of all patients. Pruritus developed in 26% of all patients, 16% experienced nausea, vomiting, or both, and 4% experienced urinary retention. There were no cases of respiratory depression. Ninety-two percent of all patients were managed on the medical/surgical floors without incident, and 90% of the patients were satisfied with their results.

Conclusion. It was shown that, when there are properly trained floor nurses, subarachnoid morphine (0.1-0.4 mg) can be an effective, safe, and simple method for postoperative pain control in a community hospital.

  • Analgesics
  • morphine-spinal
  • anesthetic techniques
  • spinal-morphine
  • pain
  • postoperative.

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