Recognizing Oncologic Emergencies
Oncologic emergencies occur in all specializations of nursing and can lead to harmful patient effects when not recognized early and addressed appropriately. This article will aid nurses in increasing their clinical knowledge by discussing four classifications of oncologic emergencies, the signs and symptoms of such emergencies, and the nursing interventions needed to help provide optimal patient outcomes.
Prompt recognition and immediate intervention of an oncologic emergency is essential for optimal patient care. It is imperative that nurses increase their knowledge and information to care for oncologic emergencies with an estimated 1.9 million people to receive a form of cancer diagnosis in 2023. This article will cover various oncologic emergencies, the signs and symptoms of each, and interventions to limit damaging and devastating patient effects.
Key Learning Outcomes
- Describe the following oncologic emergencies: superior vena cava syndrome, spinal cord compression, hypercalcemia, tumor lysis syndrome, syndrome of inappropriate antidiuretic hormone, and neutropenic fever.
- Describe signs, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment considerations for the oncologic emergencies listed in objective one.
- Discuss key nursing interventions for the oncologic emergencies listed in objective one.
Philip Nelan, RN-BC, MBA, MSN, CHPN, CNE, CNE-cl and Jessica Prepetit, RN, MS
The authors are assistant professors at Queensborough Community College in Bayside, New York.