Discharge And Home Healthcare Guidelines

MEDICATIONS. Be sure the patient understands any pain medication prescribed, including doses, route, action, and side effects. Make certain the patient understands that he or she should avoid operating a motor vehicle or heavy machinery while taking such medication.

102 Arterial Occlusive Disease

INCISION. Sutures are generally removed in the physician's office in 5 to 7 days. Explain the need to keep the surgical wound clean and dry. Teach the patient to observe the wound and report to the physician any increased swelling, redness, drainage, odor, or separation of the wound edges. Also instruct the patient to notify the doctor if a fever develops. The patient needs to know these may be symptoms of wound infection. Explain that the patient should avoid heavy lifting and should question the physician about when lifting can be resumed.

COMPLICATIONS. Instruct the patient that a possible complication of appendicitis is peritonitis. Discuss with the patient symptoms that indicate peritonitis, including sharp abdominal pains, fever, nausea and vomiting, and increased pulse and respiration. The patient must know to seek medical attention immediately should these symptoms occur.

NUTRITION. Instruct the patient that diet can be advanced to her or his normal food pattern as long as no gastrointestinal distress is experienced.

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