Miss Essay

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CHAPTER 32 Caring for the Patient with Spinal Cord Injuries Laurie Baker Outcome-Based Learning Objectives After studying this chapter, the learner will be able to: 1. Compare and contrast the most common causes of acute spinal cord injury in persons under the age of 65 as opposed to persons over the age of 65. 2. Differentiate between a complete and an incomplete spinal cord injury. 3. Explain three complications of spinal cord injury and strategies to prevent these complications. 4. Discuss the psychosocial impact of spinal cord injury on the patient and family. 5. Identify rehabilitative needs and goals for discharge for the patient who has experienced a spinal cord injury. 6. Select three nursing diagnoses and apply the nursing process in the care of the patient who has experienced a spinal cord injury. SPINAL CORD injury may be caused by trauma, neoplasm, hemorrhage, infection, and even degenerative changes of the spine. Regardless of its etiology, spinal cord injury is a cause of major morbidity and disability. Treatment of this injury and its associated complications is very costly and is estimated to be in the billions of dollars in the United States (National Center for Injury Prevention and Control [NCIPC], 2006). People who have had a spinal cord injury not only experience the physical effects of this injury, but also face significant psychosocial impacts. Patients with spinal cord injury often are faced with major life changes including loss of lifestyle, independence, economic security, and body image. Patients who have experienced a spinal cord injury can pose a significant challenge to nurses. There may be a profound physiological response as a result of this injury, which can affect all major body systems. The recovery from this injury is variable and can range from no discernible deficit to permanent, severe disability. Nurses caring for

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