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Accid Emerg Nurs. 2001 Jan;9(1):14-9.

Body piercing: issues for A&E nurses.

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  • 1ATNC Committee Baileys Consulting, Church Street, Charlbury, UK.


There has been a significant increase in the incidence of body piercing in the Western world over the last decade. Although some A&E nurses have piercings of one type or another themselves, many have no experience of it. When confronted with a patient who has a problem associated with a piercing, there can be difficulties. However, even more anxiety seems to arise in emergency situations, when speed is crucial and health care professionals are unsure about how or when to remove jewelery. This piece reviews literature and takes advice from a professional piercer, regarding issues facing A&E nurses and how they can best be approached. Handling trauma, infection and embedded jewelery is described. Specific detail about piercing of the ear, nose, tongue, nipple, navel and genitals is included. Finally the role of the A&E nurse is identified in: when and how to remove jewelery, aspects of health education and raising awareness among staff.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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