Apply petrolatum to the lips to prevent drying.
c. Keep the nostrils free of crusted secretions. Prevent drying with a light coat
of lotion, petrolatum, or water-soluble lubricant.
d. Check the eyes frequently for signs of irritation or infection. Neglect can
result in permanent damage to the cornea since the normal blink reflex and
tear-washing mechanisms may be absent. Use only cleansing solutions and eye drops
ordered by the physician. One such solution, methyl cellulose (referred to as "artificial
tears") may be ordered for instillation at frequent intervals to prevent irritation.
e. If the patient is incontinent, the perineal area must be washed and dried
thoroughly after each incident.
Change the bed linen if damp or soiled.
Observe the skin for evidence of skin breakdown.
f. Skin care should be provided each time the patient is turned.
Examine the skin for areas of irritation or breakdown.
Apply lotion, prn.
Gently massage the skin to stimulate circulation.
a. The bowel should be evacuated regularly to prevent impaction of stool.
(1) Keep accurate record of bowel movements. Note time, amount, color,
(2) A liquid stool softener may be ordered by the physician to prevent
constipation or impaction. It is generally administered once per day.
(3) Assess for fecal impaction. The patient may be incontinent of stool, yet
never completely evacuate the rectum. Small, frequent, loose stools may be the first
signs of an impaction as the irritated bowel forces liquid stools around the retained
(4) If enemas are ordered, use proper technique to ensure effective
administration and effective return of feces and solution.