Promoting Continence

Getliffe, Kathryn and Thomas, Lois Helene orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-5218-6546 (2019) Promoting Continence. In: Stroke Nursing. Wiley, pp. 229-258. ISBN 9781119111450

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This chapter examines the causes and contributing factors of bladder and bowel problems in stroke, and discusses assessment and management protocols. The prevalence of urinary incontinence (UI) after stroke is high, with studies suggesting around half of people admitted to hospital experience UI, and a third a loss of bowel control. Although UI is common after stroke, it is always important to exclude transient causes early on in the assessment process. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is a frequent cause of UI, and urine should be tested for leucocytes and nitrites within 24 hours of admission. All patients admitted to hospital with stroke should have a nursing assessment, including urine testing, within 24 hours of admission to identify UI and detect UTI or other abnormality. Healthcare professionals can do much to help improve and manage bladder and bowel problems, starting with having a good understanding of key issues and completing an early assessment of problems.

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