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2.4. Evisceration = exiting of viscera

Sometimes a feeling of evisceration, of being gutted, emptied out from the inside, is not a metaphor.

The below scene is summarized from p. 269 of Ignatavicius & Workman's Medical-Surgical Nursing, 8th ed.

Readers who get queasy easily are advised to stop here. Here's a cute package of sterile gauze to look at instead : )
Those of you still here, it's still highly advised that you never Google Image the word, "evisceration."

After abdominal surgery, it is important to splint the incision site with a pillow to support the integrity of stitches/staples/sutures while coughing, sneezing, or laughing really hard, or things will cease being funny really fast.

It is possible for the insides to bust through sutures and spill outside, piling up on top of the abdomen, especially if the patient is already crashing and emergency chest compressions are taking place.

Should this occur, call for help (surgeon, rapid response team) immediately, but do not leave the patient alone.

Cover the wound and intestines with sterile gauze moistened with sterile saline. Protect the tender insides. Continue to keep the gauze moist, and monitor patient's vital signs and response, assessing for manifestations of shock.

Do not attempt to reinsert protruding organs or viscera.

If not contraindicated, keep patient lying flat with hips and knees bent, with the head of bed elevated/lowered to 15-20 degrees. Provide support and reassurance to patient.

When the surgeon arrives, report findings and interventions. Follow additional instructions or protocols.

Document the sequence of events, activity patient was engaged in at the time of the incident, all nursing actions, and detailed assessments.

Go check on other patients.


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