There are many challenges in caring for the postsurgical patient in the intensive care unit. When the postsurgical patient has an active malignancy, this can make the intensive care unit care more challenging. Nutrition, infection, and the need for postoperative mechanical ventilatory support for the patient with cancer present challenges that may increase the patient’s length of stay in the intensive care unit. Critical care nurses must be aware of these challenges as they provide care to this patient population.

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