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Chapter 18

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Chapter 18

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  1. Chapter 18 Care of Postoperative Patients

  2. PACU Recovery Room • Postanesthesia care unit (PACU) • Allows for ongoing evaluation and stabilization of patients to anticipate, prevent, and treat complications after surgery • Circulating nurse and anesthesia provider give PACU nurse a verbal hand-off report

  3. PACU Nurses Functions • Respiratory • LOC, TPR, O2 Sat, BP • Examine surgical area • Discharge from PACU

  4. Respiratory System Assessment • Assess for a patent airway and adequate gas exchange • Note artificial airway, when applicable • Rate, pattern, and depth of breathing • Breath sounds • Accessory muscle use • Snoring and stridor • Respiratory depression or hypoxemia

  5. Cardiovascular Assessment • Vital signs • Heart sounds • Cardiac monitoring • Peripheral vascular assessment

  6. Neurologic System • Cerebral functioning • Motor and sensory assessment important after epidural or spinal anesthesia: • Motor function—simple commands; patient to move extremities • Return of sympathetic nervous system tone: gradually elevate head and monitor for hypotension

  7. Fluid, Electrolyte, and Acid-Base Balance • Intake and output • Hydration status • IV fluids • Acid-base balance

  8. Renal/Urinary System • Check for urine retention. • Consider other sources of output such as sweat, vomitus, or diarrhea stools. • Report a urine output of <30 mL/hr.

  9. Gastrointestinal System • 30% of patients experience nausea or vomiting after general anesthesia. • Peristalsis may be delayed for up to 24 hours. • Monitor for bowel sounds.

  10. Nasogastric Tube Drainage • Tube inserted during surgery to: • Decompress and drain the stomach • Promote GI rest • Allow the lower GI tract to heal • Provide an enteral feeding route • Monitor any gastric bleeding • Prevent intestinal obstruction

  11. Nasogastric Tube Drainage (Cont’d) • Assess drained material every 8 hr. • Do not move or irrigate the tube after gastric surgery without an order from the surgeon.

  12. Levin Tube and Salem Sump Tube

  13. Skin Assessment • Normal wound healing • Ineffective wound healing can be seen most often between the 5th and 10th days after surgery: • Dehiscence—a partial or complete separation of the outer wound layers • Evisceration—a total separation of all wound layers and protrusion of internal organs through the open wound

  14. Skin Assessment(Cont’d)

  15. Dressings and Drains

  16. Dressings and Drains (Cont’d)

  17. Discomfort/Pain Assessment • Pain and discomfort expected after surgery. • Consider type, extent, and length of the surgical procedure in assessing patient’s discomfort and need for medication.

  18. Physical and Emotional Signs of Acute Pain • Assess for: • Increased pulse and blood pressure • Increased respiratory rate • Profuse sweating • Restlessness • Confusion (in older adults) • Wincing, moaning, or crying

  19. Laboratory Assessment • Analysis of electrolytes • CBC • “Left-shift” • Specimens for C&S • ABG • Urine and renal laboratory tests • Others such as serum amylase, blood glucose

  20. Impaired Gas Exchange Interventions include: • Airway maintenance • Positioning the patient in a side-lying position or turning his or her head to the side to prevent aspiration • Encouraging breathing exercises • Encouraging mobilization as soon as possible

  21. Side-Lying Position

  22. Impaired Skin Integrity Interventions include: • Nursing assessment of the surgical area • Dressings—first dressing change usually performed by surgeon • Drains—provide an exit route for air, blood, and bile as well as help prevent deep infections and abscess formation during healing

  23. Impaired Skin Integrity (Cont’d) • Drug therapy including antibiotics and irrigations is used to treat wound infection. • Débridement. • Surgical management is required for wound opening.

  24. Drains and Dressings

  25. Acute Pain Interventions include: • Drug therapy • Complementary and alternative therapies such as: • Positioning • Massage • Relaxation and diversion techniques

  26. Potential for Hypoxemia • Highest incidence of hypoxemia after surgery occurs on the second postoperative day. • Interventions include: • Maintenance of airway patency and breathing pattern • Prevention of hypothermia • Maintenance of oxygen therapy as prescribed

  27. Community-Based Care • Home care management • Health teaching • Health care resources