A nurse on the medical surgical floor is caring for a patient who is postoperative day 5 after 2-vessel coronary artery bypass graft. Upon reviewing the patient's daily laboratory results, the nurse notes that the serum creatinine level is 1.9 mg/dL, and the BUN (blood urea nitrogen) level is 32 mg/dL. The nurse reviews the patient's urine output which was 630 mL over the last 24 hours. Which of the following should the nurse do next

Review serum creatinine and BUN levels that were done prior to surgery to determine if these are new findings


Normal values:

BUN  10-20 mg/dL

Creatinine 0.6-1.3 mg/dL  (male), 0.5-1.1 mg/dL  (female)


•A postoperative patient with elevated creatinine and BUN should have their preoperative blood work evaluated to determine if the issue was present prior to surgery. If the patient had normal renal function prior to surgery, the nurse should notify the doctor of the changes.

•Informing the doctor quickly of any changes to renal functioning is very important to implement treatments to prevent long-term or permanent kidney damage.

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