The nurses' role in intra-abdominal pressure monitoring in the critical care setting

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This thesis provides a unique contribution to the science of IAH and ACS management. Firstly, it has described the state of the science on accepted intra-abdominal pressure measurement techniques, IAH and ACS. Secondly, it has identified that there is a gap in critical care nurses’ knowledge in the topic area. Thirdly it has identified that trauma patients are at risk of developing IAH and ACS, particularly in the presence of massive fluid resuscitation. Fourthly, this thesis has challenged current guidelines on intra-abdominal pressure measurement techniques. Fifthly, this thesis has identified the need for standardised practice guidelines and education to strengthen critical care nurses knowledge, skills and competence in assessing and recognising intra-abdominal hypertension and abdominal compartment syndrome. Future research regarding the effects of intra-abdominal pressure and IAH in discrete patient populations, including post-operative cardiothoracic surgery and type II respiratory failure patients, as well as alternative routes of measurement such as nasogastric measurement are needed. Nurses are well situated to diagnose IAH and management of ACS. Advancing the science of assessment, measurement and management are essential to improving outcomes for individuals with IAH and ACS.
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