There are 250,000 Americans with a spinal cord injury and approximately 11,000 new injuries each year. Spinal cord injuries maintain a rigid schedule that encompasses a bowel and bladder program along with periodic cycles of pressure relief. When an SCI is admitted to the hospital their schedule is not taken into consideration as most nursing staff do not know the proper care of a SCI patient. If bowel and bladder is not managed while in the hospital, there could be many issues that could occur. There could be incontinence which could be seen as bad behavior and the moisture to the skin could lead to moisture associated skin damage. This could lead to the beginnings of a pressure injury if the individual is not repositioned. If bowel and bladder is not managed properly it could lead to damage to the kidneys or bowel. The most serious disorder that can occur in certain spinal cord individuals is called autonomic dysreflexia. If this condition is not recognized, it could lead to death.
In this session I will provide the WOCN on what is needed to educate the hospital staff nurse on caring for the spinal cord injury patient.
RN, BSN, MSN, CWCN, CCCN,
Spinal Cord Injury Nurse Case Manager,
Department of Veterans Affairs
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