Mesenteric Ischemia: Concepts of Care for the Bedside Nurse

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Abstract

Bedside nurses require excellent observational and assessment skills. Being knowledgeable about common diseases that often affect the population is essential; however, it is often more challenging to be informed about life-threatening conditions that rarely develop. Such is the case with mesenteric ischemia, a rare but complicated condition, which is difficult to diagnose, carries a degree of mortality of about 40%–70%, and is more common in people older than 50 years. Mesenteric ischemia requires that nurses be aware of the different etiologies and presentations of this uncommon disease to alert physicians of changes in a patient's condition and detect clues that may assist with an accurate and prompt diagnosis. Being educated about the diagnostic procedures, possible outcomes, and anticipated care and needs of patients affected by this medical complication is imperative to maintain the health status and well-being of these patients and their families.

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