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Chapter Listing

Special Care Considerations of the Post-Anesthesia Patient in the ICU - DEMO

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Blood transfusions are in no way benign. Receiving blood transfusions can lead to increased risk of post-transfusion coagulopathy (bleeding disorder), tissue injury, acidosis, hypoxia, and post-transfusion purpura syndrome. As a result, the benefits must outweigh the risks.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) also recommends several key protocols for nurses in the prevention and assessment of post-operative bleeding (n.d.). Their recommendations include:

  • Conducting frequent dressing checks to assess for saturated dressings and wound assessments per physician orders
  • Identify and respond to early warning signs of hemorrhage, such as restlessness, tachycardia, poor urine output, extremity swelling, and frank bleeding/bruising
Conclusions: Postoperative bleeding can be a complication of any surgery. ICU nurses must monitor hemodynamic status, dressings, and drains. In addition, they must consider a patient’s risk factors for bleeding as well as other potential sources of bleeding unseen. This could include kinked drain tubes or potential injuries to surrounding organs. Timely recognition and notifying surgeons are vital to helping protect a patient from further blood loss.
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