The nurse is assessing a difficult-to-obtain blood pressure with a manual cuff. After inflating it and listening for a while, the nurse immediately tries again. During the second attempt, while the cuff is still inflated, the patient's hand and forearm spasms and the fingers adduct involuntarily. The nurse recognizes this sign as a possible sign of which of the following?


•Trousseau sign of latent tetany is sign seen in patients with hypocalcemia (<8.9 mmol/L). This sign is believed to be more sensitive an indicator (94%) than the Chvostek sign (29%).

•To see the sign, you must inflate a blood pressure cuff for a couple minutes to occlude the brachial artery. In the absence of blood flow, the patient's hypocalcemia and resulting neuromuscular irritability will induce the spasm of the hand and forearm.

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