Priapism--persistent, painful erection of the penis.
c. Medical and Nursing Management.
Objectives of care:
(a) Reduce the fracture/dislocation and obtain immobilization of the
spine as soon as possible to prevent further cord damage.
(b) Observe for symptoms of progressive neurological damage.
Maintain patient on a turning frame or Circo-lectric bed to maintain spinal
(3) Patient with cervical spine injury will have some form of skeletal traction.
Maintain traction and provide nursing care IAW local policy.
Continuously observe patient's breathing pattern.
(a) Patients with injuries at high levels are at risk for respiratory failure.
(b) Observe strength of cough effort.
(5) Continuously observe patient for motor and sensory changes due to
cord edema or hemorrhage, which may further compromise cord function.
(a) Test patient's motor ability by asking him/her to spread fingers, grip
your hands, shrug shoulders, etc.
(b) Test sensory level by gently pinching the skin at shoulders and
progressing down sides; ascertain level at which patient can no longer feel pinch.
Note presence/absence of sweating.
(d) Carefully record findings in patient's clinical record; report changes
in patient's motor/sensory level immediately to professional nurse.
Be alert for signs of spinal shock and report immediately.
(a) Spinal shock represents a sudden loss of continuity between the
spinal cord and higher nerve centers.
(b) It is characterized by a complete loss of motor, sensory, reflex, and
autonomic activity below the level of the injury.