Vital Times 2017 - 67

Residual Neuromuscular
Blockade:
An Insidious Risk
By	Uday	Jain,	MD,	PhD,	FASA

P

ostoperative residual neuromuscular blockade
(NMB) is an important safety concern in anesthesia
care. The incidence of residual NMB has been reported
to be as high as 63.5%.1 The problems due to residual
NMB are listed in Table 1.2-5 In surgery centers with
limited recovery facilities, it is critical to adequately
reverse NMB. Residual NMB is especially detrimental to
home bound patients.

Table 1. Problems due to residual
neuromuscular blockade
Generalized	weakness
Airway	obstruction
Impaired	swallowing	&	coughing	-	aspiration,	pneumonia
Shallow	breathing
Inability	to	speak	&	smile
Eye	closure,	blurred	&	double	vision
Patient	distress-	agitation,	hypertension,	tachycardia
Increased	length	of	stay

(continued)

Annual	Publication	2017	|	 	67



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