6 Peritonitis Nursing Care Plans

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Peritonitis is the acute or chronic inflammation of the peritoneum, the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers the visceral organs. Inflammation may extend throughout the peritoneum or may be localized as an abscess. Peritonitis commonly decreases intestinal motility and causes intestinal distention with gas. mortality is 10% with death usually a result of bowel obstruction.

The peritoneum is sterile, despite the GI tract normally contains bacteria. When bacteria invade the peritoneum due to an inflammation or perforation of the GI tract peritonitis usually occurs. Bacterial invasion usually results from appendicitis, diverticulitis, peptic ulcer, ulcerative colitis, volvulus, abdominal neoplasms, or a stab wound. It may also be associated with peritoneal dialysis.

Nursing Care Plans

Early treatment of GI inflammation conditions and preoperative and postoperative therapy help prevent peritonitis. Patient care includes monitoring and measures to prevent complications and the spread of infection.

Here are six (6) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis for patients with peritonitis:

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  1. Risk for Infection
  2. Deficient Fluid Volume
  3. Acute Pain
  4. Risk for Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  5. Anxiety/Fear
  6. Deficient Knowledge
  7. Other Possible Nursing Care Plans
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Risk for Infection

Nursing Diagnosis

Risk factors may include

  • Inadequate primary defenses (broken skin, traumatized tissue, altered peristalsis)
  • Inadequate secondary defenses (immunosuppression)
  • Invasive procedures

Possibly evidenced by

  • Not applicable. A risk diagnosis is not evidenced by signs and symptoms, as the problem has not occurred and nursing interventions are directed at prevention.

Desired Outcomes

  • Achieve timely healing; be free of purulent drainage or erythema; be afebrile.
  • Verbalize understanding of the individual causative/risk factor(s).
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Note individual risk factors. Abdominal trauma, acute appendicitis, peritoneal dialysis are common risk factors.Influences choice of interventions.
Assess vital signs frequently, noting unresolved or progressing hypotension, decreased pulse pressure, tachycardia, fever, tachypnea.Signs of impending septic shock. Circulating endotoxins eventually produce vasodilation, shift of fluid from circulation, and a low cardiac output state.
Note changes in mental status: confusion, stupor, altered LOC.Hypoxemia, hypotension, and acidosis can cause deteriorating mental status.
Note skin color, temperature, moisture.Warm, flushed, dry skin is early sign of septicemia. Later manifestations include cool, clammy, pale skin and cyanosis as shock becomes refractory.
Monitor urine output.Oliguria develops as a result of decreased renal perfusion, circulating toxins, effects of antibiotics.
Maintain strict aseptic technique in care of abdominal drains, incisions and/or open wounds, dressings, and invasive sites. Cleanse with appropriate solution.Prevents access or limits spread of infecting organisms and cross-contamination.
Perform and teach proper hand washing technique.Reduces risk of cross-contamination and/or spread of infection.
Observe drainage from wounds and/or drains.Provides information about status of infection.
Maintain sterile technique when catheterizing patient, and provide catheter care and encourage perineal cleansing on a routine basis.Prevents access, limits bacterial growth in urinary tract.
Monitor and/or restrict visitors and staff as appropriate. Provide protective isolation if indicated.Reduces risk of exposure to and/or acquisition of secondary infection in immuno compromised patient.
Obtain specimens and monitor results of serial blood, urine, wound cultures.Identifies causative microorganisms and helps in assessing effectiveness of antimicrobial regimen.
Assist with peritoneal aspiration, if indicated.May be done to remove fluid and to identify infecting organisms so appropriate antibiotic therapy can be instituted.
Administer antimicrobials: gentamicin (Garamycin), amikacin (Amikin), clindamycin (Cleocin), via IV/peritoneal lavage.Therapy is directed at anaerobic bacteria and aerobic Gram-negative bacilli. Lavage may be used to remove necrotic debris and treat inflammation that is poorly localized or diffused.
Prepare for surgical intervention if indicated.Surgery may be treatment of choice (curative) in acute, localized peritonitis, e.g., to drain localized abscess; remove peritoneal exudates, ruptured appendix or gallbladder; plicate perforated ulcer; or resect bowel.
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Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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NANDA International Nursing Diagnoses: Definitions & Classification, 2021-2023
The definitive guide to nursing diagnoses as reviewed and approved by the NANDA International. In this new version of a pioneering text, all introductory chapters have been rewritten to provide nurses with the essential information they need to comprehend assessment, its relationship to diagnosis and clinical reasoning, and the purpose and application of taxonomic organization at the bedside. A total of 46 new nursing diagnoses and 67 amended nursing diagnostics are presented.

Ackley and Ladwig’s Nursing Diagnosis Handbook: An Evidence-Based Guide to Planning Care
We love this book because of it’s evidence-based approach to nursing interventions. This care plan handbook uses an easy, three-step system to guide you through client assessment, nursing diagnosis, and care planning. Includes step-by-step instructions show how to implement care and evaluate outcomes, and help you build skills in diagnostic reasoning and critical thinking.

Nursing Care Plans – Nursing Diagnosis & Intervention (10th Edition)
Includes over two hundred care plans that reflect the most recent evidence-based guidelines. New to this edition are ICNP diagnoses, care plans on LGBTQ health issues and on electrolytes and acid-base balance.

Nurse’s Pocket Guide: Diagnoses, Prioritized Interventions, and Rationales
Quick-reference tool includes all you need to identify the correct diagnoses for efficient patient care planning. The sixteenth edition includes the most recent nursing diagnoses and interventions from NANDA-I 2021-2023 and an alphabetized listing of nursing diagnoses covering more than 400 disorders.

Nursing Diagnosis Manual: Planning, Individualizing, and Documenting Client Care 
Identify interventions to plan, individualize, and document care for more than 800 diseases and disorders. Only in the Nursing Diagnosis Manual will you find for each diagnosis…. subjectively and objectively – sample clinical applications, prioritized action/interventions with rationales – a documentation section, and much more!

All-in-One Nursing Care Planning Resource – E-Book: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Maternity, and Psychiatric-Mental Health 
Includes over 100 care plans for medical-surgical, maternity/OB, pediatrics, and psychiatric and mental health. Interprofessional “patient problems” focus familiarizes you with how to speak to patients.

See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

More nursing care plans related to gastrointestinal disorders:

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Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
  • Thanks Matt Vera for the good work may you continue helping me with such good information since I’m also a nursing student who is almost graduating.

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