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Houston Methodist (2016) – Aromatherapy: A non-pharmacological intervention for postoperative nausea and vomiting in PACU

In a study conducted by Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, results showed a 60% reduction in antiemetic drug use after patients inhaled QueaseEASE® in the PACU.  This led to a 100% recommendation to include QueaseEASE® in their multi-modal therapy for PONV.

AUTHOR(S): Ronald M. Malit BSN, RN, CPANN, CAPA & Paschale Dorismond-Parks BSN, RN, CPAN, Houston Methodist Sugarland Hospital

DATE: May 2016



Unavailability of non-pharmaceutical therapy for PONV in Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital.


To improve management of PONV in the immediate postoperative period and 24 hours post-discharge.


Between September and October 2015, a total of 43 subjects were included in the EBP project.

Results showed aromatherapy was more effective in treating mild nausea than moderate nausea and was not able to totally relieve severe nausea.

Subjects who did not achieve total relief from nausea had 3+ Apfel risk score of PONV.

Among subjects, only 40% required antiemetics, decreasing usage by 60% when compared to past practice.

Limitations: Low incidence of PONV among subjects.

A survey of all AOD and PACU nurses suggest that aromatherapy was easy to use, beneficial for the patient, and 100% recommended inclusion to the multi-modal therapy for PONV.

Favorable results of this EBP project promoted continued use of aromatherapy on AOD patients with PONV in the PACU.

Implementation on patients start on November 2015.


Further studies to assess the effect of aromatherapy on clinically meaningful outcomes (i.e. patient satisfaction relating to comfort, length of hospital stay and its applicability in other areas).

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