The Postanesthesia Care Unit - Admission to the PACU
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Transport from the OR should only be considered once a patent and stable airway is confirmed. The patient should be transported under direct supervision of the anesthetist, preferably with the head of the bed elevated or with the patient in the lateral decubitus position to maximize airway patency. Oxygen delivered via face mask is indicated in most patients to prevent hypoxemia due to hypoventilation or diffusion hypoxia. Unstable patients, such as patients receiving vasoactive medications, usually require monitoring of oxygenation and hemodynamics during transport. The anesthetist may opt to bring rescue medications and airway management tools as the clinical situation dictates.