7 Spina Bifida Nursing Care Plans

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Spina bifida involves the failure of the neural tube to develop or close during embryonic development causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine. There are two types of spina bifida: spina bifida occulta is the most common and is a defect in the closure without the herniation and exposure of the spinal cord or meninges at the surface of the skin in the lumbosacral area. While spina bifida cystica (meningocele or myelomeningocele) is a defect in the closure of a sac and herniated protrusion of meninges, spinal fluid and possibly some part of the spinal cord and nerves at the surface of the skin in the lumbosacral or sacral area.

Hydrocephalus is often related with spina bifida cystica. The extent of neurologic impairment are associated to the location and nerves involved in the defect and range from varying degrees of sensory deficits, to partial or total loss of motor function resulting in flaccidity, partial paralysis of lower extremities, and bowel and urinary incontinence.

There are several different treatments that can be used to manage symptoms or conditions associated with spina bifida such as surgery to close the opening in the spine which may be done during infancy or later, physiotherapy, speech and occupational therapy, use of assistive devices and mobility equipment, such as a wheelchair, or walking aids, and urinary and bowel management.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning goals for clients with spina bifida include prevent infection, maintain skin integrity, prevent trauma related to disuse, increase family coping skills, education about the condition, and support.

Here are seven (7) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for spina bifida:

  1. Hypothermia
  2. Impaired Urinary Elimination
  3. Bowel Incontinence
  4. Disturbed Body Image
  5. Interrupted Family Processes
  6. Risk for Infection
  7. Risk for Injury
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Risk for Injury

Risk for Injury: Vulnerable for injury as a result of environmental conditions interacting with the individual’s adaptive and defensive resources, which may compromise health.

May be related to

  • Constant exposure to latex products during procedures in the hospital (surgeries, diagnostic examinations, or bladder and bowel management)

Possibly evidenced by

  • [not applicable]

Desired Outcomes

  • Child will not experience an injury related to latex allergy.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Recognize children with latex allergy and make them wear a medical id alert bracelet.Promote usefulness during treatment; May prevent an allergic reaction to happen.
Inquire all clients admitted about reactions to latex allergy during all initial interviews.Promotes screening of all clients which may prevent severe allergic reactions in otherwise low-risk clients.
Keep a latex-free environment especially with high-risk populations (children with spina bifida). Discourage the use of latex balloons in the healthcare facility.Prevent development of latex allergy; prevents an allergic reaction in those who are already sensitized.
Have an emergency equipment ready, making sure the availability of supplies required to manage an anaphylactic reaction.Promote immediate emergency treatment.
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See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Maternal and Newborn Care Plans

Nursing care plans related to the care of the pregnant mother and her infant. See care plans for maternity and obstetric nursing:

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