Abdominal compartment syndrome is a potentially lethal condition caused by any event that produces intra-abdominal hypertension; the most common cause is blunt abdominal trauma. Increasing intra-abdominal pressure causes progressive hypoperfusion and ischemia of the intestines and other peritoneal and retroperitoneal structures. Pathophysiological effects include release of cytokines, formation of oxygen free radicals, and decreased cellular production of adenosine triphosphate. These processes may lead to translocation of bacteria from the gut and intestinal edema, predisposing patients to multiorgan dysfunction syndrome. The consequences of abdominal compartment syndrome are profound and affect many vital body systems. Hemodynamic, respiratory, renal, and neurological abnormalities are hallmarks of abdominal compartment syndrome. Medical management consists of urgent decompressive laparotomy. Nursing care involves vigilant monitoring for early detection, including serial measurements of intra-abdominal pressure.
Curriculum in Critical Care| July 01 2003
Pathophysiology and Management of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome
Jeffrey Walker, RN, CCRN, CEN;
Am J Crit Care (2003) 12 (4): 367–371.
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Jeffrey Walker, Laura M. Criddle; Pathophysiology and Management of Abdominal Compartment Syndrome. Am J Crit Care 1 July 2003; 12 (4): 367–371. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ajcc2003.12.4.367
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