Following a spinal cord injury, a patient undergoing rehabilitation is receiving instructions about urinary management. Which of the following is the most important for the nurse to tell the patient?

"Urinate on a timed schedule."

Explanation

• Urinary tract infections are common in patients with spinal cord injuries. Emptying the bladder on a schedule will improve bladder control and reduce urinary stasis

• The nurse must focus on the importance of maintaining an adequate flow of urine by encouraging the patient to drink about 2.5 liters of fluid daily. Personal hygiene should also be emphasized because bladder and kidney infections almost always occur via the ascending route

• Incorrect: Limiting fluid intake is not appropriate and can lead to complications

• Incorrect: Cranberry juice can help prevent urinary tract infections, but this is not the most critical piece of information to be communicated

• Incorrect: Bladder management of patients with spinal cord injury does not require avoidance of carbonated drinks

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