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Course # 30762 • Postoperative Complications


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  1. List the steps necessary to obtain an accurate and thorough assessment of patients prior to, during, and after surgery.
  2. Identify information that should always be obtained during the assessment of the preoperative patient.
  3. Review the common complications of patients undergoing abdominal, orthopedic, cardiovascular, respiratory, neurologic, obstetric/gynecologic, and genitourinary surgeries.
  4. Describe the development, course, and management of postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV).
  5. Discuss the signs and symptoms as well as the treatment of malignant hyperthermia.
  6. Review the implications of hypothermia, pain, and complications related to positioning in postsurgical patients.
  7. List the most common respiratory complications following surgery and how to best identify and manage these complications in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU).
  8. Describe the cardiovascular complications that may occur in the postoperative period and the appropriate interventions.
  9. Discuss the development and management of postoperative neurologic complications.
  10. List the steps to appropriately assess and manage the patient with a volume status complication in the postoperative period.
  11. Outline the steps to managing postoperative ileus.
  12. Identify the signs/symptoms, risk factors, and management of postsurgical renal insufficiency.
  13. Describe the anatomic and physiologic differences between children and adults and how these differences impact postoperative care and complication development.
  14. Identify the anatomic and physiologic differences between elderly and adult patients and the impact that these differences have on the development of postoperative complications.
  15. Develop a plan for assessment and management to be instituted in the PACU to limit the development of postoperative complications in the morbidly obese patient.
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