Carrie, a 5-year-old with an umbilical hernia is transferred to the post-operative care unit. The priority nursing responsibilities for postoperative care include:

Assess for hemorrhage

Explanation

•If the 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 4-6 years of age. After surgery, the child returns 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.

•Providing comfort and monitoring vital signs are not the first priority nursing action.

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

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