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PART 2

EXAMINING THE NEWBORN WITH AN OPEN SPINAL DYSRAPHISM

BRAND, M. COLLEEN RNC, MSN, NNP

Section Editor(s): FURDON, SUSAN A. RNC, MS, NNP; CLARK, DAVID A. MD

doi: 10.1016/j.adnc.2006.04.001
FOCUS ON THE PHYSICAL
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Spinal dysraphism includes a constellation of frequent and potentially complex malformations of the spine and spinal cord. Open spinal dysraphisms, the majority of which are myelomeningoceles, have a number of associated morbidities that require both immediate and lifelong medical care. The role of the neonatal nurse includes the immediate stabilization of the affected infant, systematic examination of the malformation, and implementation of evidence-based protocols to ameliorate the associated medical problems. Coordination of care and communication and support of the family are essential aspects of care. This article reviews the embryology of open spinal dysraphisms and the steps needed to stabilize and evaluate affected infants.

Texas Children's Hospital, University of Texas-Houston, School of Nursing, Houston, Texas.

Address reprint requests to M. Colleen Brand, RNC, MSN, NNP, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Nursing, 6901 Bertner Street, Room 768, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail: mcbrand@texaschildrenshospital.org

© 2006 National Association of Neonatal Nurses