Perioperative Care of the Immunocompromised Patient

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IMMUNITY REFERS TO THE BODY'S capacity to resist invading organisms and toxins, thereby preventing tissue and organ damage. A patient whose immune system is impaired may be at higher risk for untoward perioperative events.SOME POPULATIONS MOST AT RISK for immunocompromise include infants, geriatric patients, people who have undergone organ transplantation, and people with cancer. Patients who are immunocompromised have an increased risk for hypothermia, which can affect postoperative wound healing processes and can increase the risk of wound infection.THIS ARTICLE PROVIDES a basic overview of the immune system, a discussion of common disorders and diseases of the immune system, and a guide for perioperative nurses to use when they care for a patient who is immunocompromised.

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