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Systematic assessment 

Systematic assessment
Chapter:
Systematic assessment
Author(s):

Heather Baid

, Fiona Creed

, and Jessica Hargreaves

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701071.003.0002
Page of

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date: 18 September 2019

This chapter describes the principles of conducting a bedside assessment of a critical care patient. This assessment is an essential nursing skill that integrates knowledge of history taking and physical assessment. The ABCDE approach and head-to-toe assessment of the critically ill patient are described in detail, along with critical-care-specific screening and assessment tools, such as those used in relation to sedation and delirium, and a comprehensive overview of mental health assessment is also included. Normal and abnormal findings are described, and acute presentations that require immediate assessment and response are highlighted. Blood gas analysis is described, and details of the common causes of derangement in acid-base balance are presented. Reference values for blood tests, including full blood count, liver function tests, coagulation, urea, creatinine, and electrolytes are listed.

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