We examined cardiovascular changes in 37 patients transported to an ICU after major general or vascular surgery (n = 14), open heart surgery (n = 13), or carotid endarterectomy (n = 10). Cardiovascular variables were also measured in a control group of 11 patients transported from an ICU for diagnostic or therapeutic procedures. All patients were followed for 30 min before transport until approximately 30 min after they arrived at their destinations. During this period, systolic BP and heart rate significantly increased only in patients recovering from major general/vascular surgery or carotid endarterectomy. These changes were apparently related to acute emergence from inhalational anesthesia (isoflurane plus nitrous oxide), since the other surgical patients were anesthetized with narcotic anesthesia, and the control group did not receive any anesthesia.
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