The authors discuss paraplegia after CABG surgery, including spinal cord anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, clinical findings, and complications. In addition, a case study as well as nursing implications and interventions are presented.

Paraplegia is an unpredictable complication that can occur after repair of coarctation of the aorta, thoracotomy (eg, lobectomy, pneumonectomy), repair of aortic dissection, valvular surgery, heart transplantation, and coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery.1,13 Paraplegia after surgeries of the thoracoabdominal or abdominal aorta has a reported incidence of 4% to 80%, depending on the complexity of the surgical procedure required and alterations in spinal cord perfusion.3,14 However, paraplegia after CABG surgery is rare. An extensive literature search of the CINAHL and MEDLINE databases and the Internet produced only 7 case reports3,9,12,14 and...

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