Neuroprotective Strategies for Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Leslie Parker, PhD, NNP-BC; Carole Kenner, DNS, RNC-NIC, FAAN

Disclosures

NAINR. 2012;12(1):8-11. 

In This Article

Implications for Nursing Practice

Nurses play critically important roles in the care of infants with HIE. They are key in identifying infants at risk, thereby facilitating early diagnosis and initiation of treatment, imperative factors given the time sensitivity of treatment initiation. Risk factors for HIE include severe depression or resuscitation in the delivery room, fetal acidemia (pH <7.0), an abnormal neurologic examination, and abnormal cerebral function as seen on an EEG.[34] Fundamental roles of neonatal intensive care unit nurses also include monitoring treatment efficacy and therapy complications and providing family support and education. The birth of an infant with HIE is devastating for the family when they learn they are facing a life-threatening situation with possible long-term sequelae. The family needs to interact with the infant, to understand the infant's condition and prognosis, and to have questions answered in a timely, sensitive, and understandable manner.

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