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Nursing Assessment of Intra-abdominal Hypertension and Abdominal Compartment Syndrome in the Neonate

Reitsma, Jenifer MSN, APRN-CNP, CPNP-PC; Schumacher, Bette MS, RN, CNS, CPN

Section Editor(s): Meeker, Tamara

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000466
Special Series: Surgical Issues

Background: Abdominal compartment syndrome in the surgical neonate is a low-frequency, high-risk occurrence that if overlooked is often accompanied with long-term sequelae and sometimes death. The importance of early detection of signs and symptoms through expert nursing assessment cannot be overstated.

Purpose: To review the components of nursing assessment as it applies to detection of abdominal compartment syndrome in the surgical neonate and its relationship to the pathophysiology.

Methods/Search Strategy: Detailed search of the nursing and medical literature.

Implications for Practice: The purpose of this article is to describe the onset of abdominal compartment syndrome in the neonate. Early detection of this low-frequency, high-risk occurrence hinges on expert nursing assessment. Complications of abdominal compartment syndrome in the neonate involve bowel perforation, short bowel syndrome, and sometimes death. Components of this expert nursing assessment and its relationship to the pathophysiology of compartment syndrome are presented.

Sanford Children's Specialty Clinic (Ms Reitsma) and Sanford USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Ms Schumacher).

Correspondence: Jenifer Reitsma, MSN, APRN-CNP, CPNP-PC, Sanford Children's Specialty Clinic, Mailstop Route 6410, Sioux Falls, SD 57117 (

There is no conflict of interests for either author.

© 2018 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses