The nurse is caring for a patient who requires skeletal traction after a back injury. Which of the following are appropriate nursing interventions?
• When injury involves fracture-dislocation of the cervical spine, cervical tongs like Crutchfield tongs may be used for skeletal traction to achieve alignment and immobilization.
• To ensure effectiveness, the nurse should maintain traction at all times. Failing to maintain traction can cause further damage to the fractured bone and surrounding tissue.
• A skin assessment should be performed whenever the patient is repositioned (which should be at least every 2-3 hours) due to risk of skin breakdown from ischemia and compression of tissue when immobilized.
• Pin sites are susceptible to infection, so the sites should be assessed for increased redness, swelling, pain, or drainage.
• The traction weights should never be supported; they need to hang freely in order to be effective.
• Stool softeners should be administered to prevent postoperative constipation and obstruction.