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Thoracotomy Paraplegia: A Case Report from the PACU

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 May 2011

Tzu H. Huang*
Affiliation:
Advanced Practitioner, Perioperative Service, Post Anaesthesia Care Unit, The Canberra Hospital, ACT, Australia
*Corresponding
Correspondence to: T. H. Huang, Post-anaesthesia Care Unit, The Canberra Hospital, Yamba Drive, Garran ACT 2605, Australia. Tel: 0433 645 384; Fax: 02-6282 6984; E-mail: hweiche@hotmail.com

Abstract

The aim of this case report is to present the rare yet devastating complication of post-thoracotomy paraplegia and to raise awareness of the causative factors, as well as to discuss the nursing observation for prompt and effective clinical management in order to achieve successful healthcare outcomes. This case was secondary to the use of haemostatic agents during thoracotomy, and delayed post-operative identification of complication and management leading to long-term spinal cord impairment. Routine neurologic assessment focusing on movement and sensation of the extremities is recommended post-operatively to detect the potential complications as early as possible.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © British Association of Anaesthetic and Recovery Nursing 2012

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