[para- + centesis]
The puncture of a cavity with removal of fluid, as in pleural effusion or ascites. Paracentesis commonly refers to aspiration of fluid from within the peritoneum.
The procedure is explained to the patient and an informed consent is obtained. The patient is assessed for allergies, including local anesthetics and antiseptic agents, and for bleeding and coagulation abnormalities. The patient should have an intravenous access and should empty his/her bladder before the procedure. Emotional support is offered during the procedure, and the patient is encouraged to express feelings. The patient is positioned as directed by the physician. Vital signs are monitored, esp. for changes in respiratory rate, pulse, and blood pressure. The amount of fluid removed is measured and recorded, and its appearance, color, consistency, odor, and specific gravity are noted. The puncture site is observed, a pressure dressing applied, and redressed as necessary. Specimens are sent to laboratories as directed. The procedure and the patient's response are documented, and the patient is monitored for several hours after the procedure, e.g., for bleeding or drainage from the puncture site, or worsening internal pain.
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