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Gastrointestinal care 

Gastrointestinal care
Gastrointestinal care

Heather Baid

, Fiona Creed

, and Jessica Hargreaves

Page of

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date: 21 September 2019

The gastrointestinal assessment of the critically ill patient is described, including health history, physical assessment, and laboratory investigations. Gastrointestinal monitoring is discussed with reference to gastric residual assessment and intra-abdominal pressure monitoring, Critical care nursing interventions for gastrointestinal disorders commonly encountered in this care are then reviewed, with an emphasis on practical ‘hands-on’ skills as well as a description of the background theory for each clinical condition. The conditions that are described in detail include diarrhoea, constipation, hypomotility, vomiting, acute abdomen, acute liver failure, chronic liver failure, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal haemorrhage, abdominal compartment syndrome, and refeeding syndrome. In each case the gastrointestinal condition is defined, the causes of the condition are identified, typical assessment findings are listed, and a description of the critical care nursing management of the condition is provided.

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