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Gastroenterol Nurs. 2011 Sep-Oct;34(5):357-64. doi: 10.1097/SGA.0b013e318229bc7a.

Splenic injury due to colonoscopy: nursing considerations.

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Short Stay Unit/Endoscopy, McKenzie Willamette Medical Center, Springfield, Oregon 97477 , USA.


Complications associated with the performance of a colonoscopy are low. Splenic tearing or trauma postcolonoscopy is a rare but serious complication. Identification of a splenic injury is difficult because of the nonspecific nature of the patient's symptoms. A meta-analysis approach was used to identify common risk factors, onset and presentation of symptoms, and procedural difficulty associated with splenic injury postcolonoscopy. A review of 10 published case studies and 1 case presented by the author were compared with published findings for patients sustaining a splenic injury following colonoscopy. Potential common signs and symptoms as well as common risks factors were identified. Nursing considerations for the identification of high-risk patients and postprocedure symptoms are outlined. Early detection of this rare complication is difficult, but having a high level of suspicion can help to identify patients at risk for sustaining a splenic injury during colonoscopy.

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