Although many of the interventions included here are appropriate for the short-stay patient, this plan of care addresses the traditional appendectomy care provided on a surgical unit.
- Psychosocial aspects of care
- Surgical intervention
- Patient Assessment Database (Preoperative)
- Constipation of recent onset
- Diarrhea (occasional)
- Abdominal distension, tenderness/rebound tenderness, rigidity
- Decreased or absent bowel sounds
- Abdominal pain around the epigastrium and umbilicus, which may have an insidious onset and become increasingly severe; pain may localize at McBurney’s point (halfway between umbilicus and crest of right ileum) and be aggravated by walking, sneezing, coughing, or deep respiration. Increasingly severe, generalized pain or the sudden cessation of severe pain (suggests perforation or infarction of the appendix).
- Varied reports of pain/vague symptoms (due to location of appendix [e.g., retrocecally or next to ureter] or due to onset of peritonitis)
- Guarding behavior; lying on side or back with knees flexed; increased right lower quadrant (RLQ) pain with extension of right leg/upright position
- Rebound tenderness on left side (suggests peritoneal inflammation)
Tachypnea; shallow respirations
Fever (usually low-grade)
- History of other conditions associated with abdominal pain, e.g., acute pyelitis, ureteral stone, acute salpingitis, regional ileitis
- May occur at any age
- Discharge plan considerations:
- DRG projected mean length of inpatient stay: 4.2 days/short stay: 24 hours
- May need brief assistance with transportation, homemaker tasks
- Refer to section at end of plan for postdischarge considerations.
- WBC: Leukocytosis above 12,000/mm3, neutrophil count often elevated to greater than 75%.
- Abdominal x-rays: May reveal hardened bit of fecal material in appendix (fecalith), localized ileus.
- Ultrasound or CT scan: May be done for differentiation of appendicitis from other causes of abdominal pain (e.g., perforating ulcer, cholecystitis, reproductive organ infections) or to localize drainable abscesses.
- Prevent complications.
- Promote comfort.
- Provide information about surgical procedure/prognosis, treatment needs, and potential complications.
- Complications prevented/minimized.
- Pain alleviated/controlled.
- Surgical procedure/prognosis, therapeutic regimen, and possible complications understood.
- Plan in place to meet needs after discharge.