Patient Care and Monitoring Spinal Cord Compression

Monitor patients for:

1. Improved symptoms of sensory loss using physical exam every 4 hours until symptoms improve then daily

2. Improved autonomic system function including urine and bowel control every 4 hours until symptoms improve then daily

3. Improved pain control using detailed pain assessment every 2 to 4 hours during initial titration then daily thereafter

4. For corticosteroid use: Serum glucose, insomnia, fluid retention, GI upset, mental status changes, signs and symptoms of infection daily

Pain management is also of critical importance in patients with spinal cord compression. While dexamethasone will provide some benefit, opioid analgesics should also be used and titrated rapidly to achieve adequate pain control.

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