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Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (2016) – Investigating the validity of inhaled essential oils in a PACU setting to treat PONV

An evaluative trial done by the Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, revealed that QueaseEASE® helped to relieve PONV in 70% of PACU patients. 
Read more: Alta Bates Summit Medical Center (2016) – Investigating the validity of inhaled essential oils in a PACU setting to treat PONV

AUTHOR(S): Study lead by Patricia Crosby, RN, BSN, MA, CCRN, CPAN, Staff Nurse IV, Luvimin Rzepiela, RN, BSN, CAPA, Staff Nurse III

DATE: March 2016



Postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV) is a major concern for patients having surgery under general anesthesia causing subjective distress, along with increased complications and delays in hospital discharge.

Even after receiving antiemetic medications during the surgical procedure, the patient can emerge from anesthesia with c/o PONV or after administration of pain medication. Repeated doses of antiemetics in PACU do not always bring adequate relief. Upon admission to Same Day Surgery (SDS) the patient can experience renewed or onset nausea with change in position or ambulation.

Knowledge of a convenient, cost-effective aromatherapy product used at other facilities prompts further research and a request for permission to conduct a trial of the product. The goal of the trial is to determine the product’s effectiveness for future purchase as an adjunctive therapy for PONV.


The perioperative nurse will gain a greater understanding of how aromatherapy can be a valuable alternative therapy in relieving patients’ discomfort in the treatment of PONV.

The patient will understand the ease of use, convenience, and benefits of the aromatherapy product.

Use of the product will enable the patients a sense of control over their condition, improving their experience and expediting their recovery.


Prior to the initiation of the trial an in service educates staff in both SDS and PACU about the product, its use, safety, and benefits.

Staff is instructed on the importance of filling out the survey form for adequate evaluation. The survey evaluation form identifies the following: gender, age, type of surgery, use in therapy, ease of use for both patient and nurse, patient satisfaction, and how product was used, i.e. only, before IV/other antiemetics, or after IV/other antiemetics.

A trial of five weeks duration to evaluate the aromatherapy product in PACU/ SDS is initiated on February 12, 2016 and ends on March 11, 2016.

Study and evaluation of the survey forms with input from staff and team leaders.

Due to favorable results the product is purchased by the medical center for use in PACU/SDS.


The use of aromatherapy in PACU/SDS proves highly successful as an adjunctive therapy for PONV. With a group of 23 participants the combined results of PACU/SDS conclude that the product is very effective with 70% relief of nausea and 74% patients liked the product.

Ease of use and convenience of the product is demonstrated by patients and nurses with 100% satisfaction.

The aromatherapy product aids in meeting discharge criteria of the patient postoperative nausea.


Greater knowledge of adjunctive aapproaches for the treatment of PONV.

Use of nurse-driven protocol to identify and improve patient care and satisfaction.

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