A child with an umbilical hernia is transferred to the postoperative care unit and the initial assessment is performed. Of the following, which is the priority nursing responsibility for postoperative care of an umbilical hernia?


• If a hernia is more than 2 cm, surgery for repair will generally be indicated to prevent intestinal strangulation or intestinal obstruction. This is usually done when the child is 4 to 6 years of age.

• After surgery, the child may return with a pressure dressing, which remains in place until the sutures are well-healed. It is necessary to frequently check the wound site for any signs of hemorrhage. Assessments for bleeding are always the priority assessment when there is a risk of blood loss.

Incorrect options:

• Pain management and monitoring body temperature are important, but they are not the first priority nursing actions.

• Before surgery, signs of incarceration and strangulation should be checked. After surgery, the risk for this is low.

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