The Role of Nursing in the Treatment of Patients with Acute Variceal Bleeding

Dokoutsidou, Helen; Kantianis, Alexandros
July 2009
Nosileftiki;Jul2009, Vol. 48 Issue 3, p260
Academic Journal
Acute oesophageal variceal bleeding is an extremely serious, life-threatening condition if it is not addressed promptly. The effective application of resuscitation measures and treatment is essential for survival. Aim. Presentation of modern methods for the management of acute oesophageal variceal bleeding and delineation of the nursing role in the emergency treatment of these patients. Material-Method. Literature review via ?edline, based mainly on relevant articles of nursing interest published during the last 20 years. Results. The treatment of acute oesophageal variceal bleeding starts in the emergency department and includes initial stabilization measures and invasive procedures for the immediate control of the bleeding. Endoscopic sclerotherapy constitutes the mainstay for bleeding management, in combination with vasoactive drugs, and endoscopic band ligation is an alternative method. In the case of failure or inability to apply these techniques, balloon tamponade can be attempted as a life-saving temporary measure until the patient can undergo TIPS or portosystemic shunt surgery. The effectiveness of these methods requires optimal medical and nursing care. Conclusions. Nurses are actively involved in the treatment of patients with acute oesophageal variceal bleeding; specialized training in all aspects of the management of these patients is an indisputable prerequisite for the provision of high-quality nursing care.


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