The Nursing Management of Open Abdomen Patients
Nursing management of the patient with an open abdomen presents unique challenges. The goal of care for the open abdomen patient is to close the abdomen as soon as feasible. This chapter reviews the nurse’s role in stabilizing the patient’s hemodynamics, managing intra-abdominal hypertension, and supporting nutrition and mobility. Skin protection is a challenge with the open abdomen patient, and the nurse needs to use creative strategies due to the enteric drainage. The open abdomen patient is also confronted with psychosocial and financial issues, particularly if the patient requires to have a ventral hernia prior to definitive closure.
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