A 6-year-old is scheduled for brain surgery for the removal of a tumor. What nursing intervention should be performed preoperatively?


• Before and after brain surgery, the child should receive stool softeners to prevent straining with bowel movements. Straining would increase intracranial pressure (ICP) which must be avoided.

• Dexamethasone (Decadron), a glucocorticoid, is often given before brain surgery to reduce cerebral edema.

• No preoperative enema is given. Expelling an enema would increase intracranial pressure.

• Shaving before surgery is no longer common practice. Recent studies show that shaving causes microscopic abrasions that disrupt the skin's barrier defense against microorganisms, thus increasing risk of surgical site infection. Clipping preoperatively is now the standard.

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