Difficulties with assessment and management of an infant’s distress in the postoperative period: Optimising opportunities for interdisciplinary information-sharing

Carlye Weiner, Sueann Penrose, Elizabeth Manias, Noel Cranswick, Ellie Rosenfeld, Fiona Newall, Allison Williams, Narelle Borrott, Sharon Kinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleOther

Abstract

Objectives:
The importance of accurate paediatric patient assessment is well established but under-utilised in managing postoperative medication regimens.

Methods:
Data for this case report were collected through observations of clinical practice, conduct of interviews, and retrieval of information from the medical record. This case report involving a hospitalised 1-year-old boy demonstrates the difficulties associated with assessing and managing postoperative distress, including pain and other clinical conditions related to the surgical procedure.

Results:
Postoperatively, there were difficulties in managing pain and an episode of over-sedation, occasioning opiate reversal with naloxone. In addition, he had decreasing oxygen saturation and increased work of breathing. X-ray showed changes consistent with either atelectasis or aspiration, and he was commenced on antibiotics. The patient experienced respiratory distress and required intervention from the medical emergency team.

Conclusion:
This case demonstrated the importance of comprehensive assessment and careful consideration of alternative causes of an infant’s distress using the results of assessment tools to aid decision-making. Communication moderates effective patient care, and more favourable outcomes could be achieved by optimising interdisciplinary information-sharing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalSAGE Open Medical Case Reports
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Pharmacoepidemiology and drug safety
  • medication management
  • analgesia
  • pain
  • communication
  • postoperative care

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