Friday, February 13, 2009

Alcohol and surgery: Don't miss the risk

"..approximately one-half of all hospital beds are filled with patients with medical conditions related to alcohol or drug dependence.." Geraldine Birch Hurst
[OR Nurse 2009, July/August 2008,Vol2(7);pp.30-5.]

"Because alcohol remains the major drug of abuse in this country [United States], nurses must be able to identify withdrawal symptoms and medicate patients appropriately within the first 24 hours to prevent complications.."
"It benefits both the patient and the nursing staff to treat alcohol withdrawal early. Unanticipated alcohol withdrawal in hospitalized patients can add to the risks and costs of the hospitalization."
"The first step in treating patients who abuse alcohol is detecting the potential for withdrawal."

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