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Potential respiratory problems

- Airway obstruction
- Hypoxemia
- Hypoventilation

Potential cardiovascular problems

- Hypotension
- Hypertension
- Dysrhythmias
- Fluid volume excess
- Blood clots

Potential neurologic/ psychologic problems

- Emergency delirium
- Post op cognitive dysfunction
- Anxiety and depression

Potential alterations in temperature

- Hypothermia
- Fever

Potential GI problems

- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal distention

Potential urinary problems

- Urinary retention
- Low urine output

Low urine output

Due to NPO Preop, fluid retention (due to stress response), immobilization.

Intervention: Ambulation (It normally returns within 6-8 hours)

Urinary retention

Due to anesthesia, opioids, immobility, recumbent position, pain

Interventions: Position pt in natural urinating position, increase water intake, provide reassurance, ambulation

Abdominal distention

Due to opioids, delayed ambulation, decreased peristalsis

Interventions: Early ambulation

Nausea/ vomiting

Due to opioids and anesthesia, delayed gastric emptying, duration of surgery, of drinking and eating too soon post op

Interventions: Give antiemetic and prokinetic meds, IV fluids while NPO, O2 therapy, early mobilization


Due to wound infection or latent sign DVT

Interventions: Prophylactic antibiotics, antipyretic, surgical asepsis with wound care.


Due to cold irrigants, redistribution of body heat heat in long surgeries, and unwarmed inhaled gases

Interventions: warm IV fluids, active rewarming (warm blankets, socks, etc.)

Emergency delirium

Due to anesthesia, pain, bladder distention, hypoxia, or endotracheal tube.

Interventions: O2 therapy, analgesics for pain, voiding, sedatives if O2 doesn't work.

Blood clots

Due to increase in platelets due to stress response (increased risk for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism

Fluid volume excess

Due to stress response related to surgery

Interventions: monitor for S&S or FVE, don't infuse IV fluids too rapidly, diuretics, monitor I&O


Due to fluid and electrolytes imbalances, blood loss, hypoxemia, or preexisting heart complications


Due to sympathetic nerve stimulation (pain, anxiety, bladder distention, respiratory compromise)

Interventions: Replaces fluids or specific electrolytes, replace blood, O2 therapy


Due to fluids and/or blood loss or cardiac dysfunction

Interventions: Always start with O2 (for hypoperfused organs), replaces fluids and blood, vasoconstrictors, drugs for dysrhytmias

Airway obstruction

Due to tongue falling back or laryngeal edema

Interventions: thrust jaw forward, chin lift, intubate/ O2 or antihistamines


Due to atelectasis, aspiration, bronchospasm, pulmonary edema, pulmonary embolism

Interventions: DB & C, incentive spirometer, early mobilization, O2 therapy, diuretics, bronchodilators


Due to anesthesia, weak respiratory muscles, or pain

Interventions: Stimulation, reversal of opioids, O2 therapy, analgesics in low dose,

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