Gastrointestinal Motility Problems in Critically Ill Patients
Originally Published In
Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America
Gastrointestinal (GI) motility problems are common complications in critical care patients. GI problems contribute to an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Toxic megacolon (TM) is a type of acquired megacolon categorized as a medical emergency and includes severe inflammation affecting all layers of the colon wall. The high incidence of GI complications in critically ill patients requires the critical care nurse to provide close monitoring of patients at risk and an acute awareness of the causation, signs and symptoms, and treatment of various GI motility disorders, including gastroparesis, ileus, and TM.