Approved by the AACN Executive Board, June 2, 2000
American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses
American Association of Critical Care Nurses
American Society of Anesthesiologists
Anesthesia Care Team Committee
Committee on Critical Care Medicine and Trauma Medicine
Issue: A Phase 1 postanesthesia care unit (PACU) is a critical care area providing postanesthesia nursing care for patients immediately after operative and invasive procedures prior to discharge to the Phase II ambulatory setting, the in-patient surgical unit and the intensive care unit.
PeriAnesthesia nurses have identified concerns regarding the increasing use of the Phase 1 postanesthesia care unit (PACU) for the care of surgical and nonsurgical intensive care unit (ICU) patients when ICU beds are not available in the facility.