Date of Award

Spring 1999

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the scope of pulmonary dysfunction associated with the use of meperidine in the elderly following thoracic and abdominal surgical procedures. The model tested was Brooks-Brunn's Postoperative Risk Factor Model (1995a, 1995b). It was assumed that there would be a difference in oxygen use and forced vital capacity between those patients using meperidine vs. morphine postoperatively. It was also thought that there would be a difference among the variables dependent upon whether patients were young old and old old. Study findings included that while there was no significant relationship between oxygen use and FVC among those patients using meperidine or morphine, patients who used meperidine had lower overall FVCs consistent with restrictive dysfunction. All patients received less opioid analgesia than they could have received. These trends should provide impetus for further research with elderly postoperative patients.

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