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Care for a Client with Traction

A. a pulling force exerted on bones to reduce and / or immobilize
fractures, reduce muscle spasm, correct or prevent deformities

B. nursing care
1. check traction apparatus frequently to ensure that
a. ropes are aligned and weighs are hanging freely
b. bed is in proper position
c. line of traction is within the long axis of the bone
2. maintain client in proper alignment
a. align in center of bed
b. do not rest affected limb against foot of bed
3. perform neurovascular checks to affected extremity
4. observe for and prevent foot drop
a. provide footplate
b. encourage plantarflexion and Dorsiflexion exercises
5. observe for and prevent deep-vein thrombosis ( especially in russel traction due to pressure on popliteal area
6. observe for an prevent skin irritation and breakdown ( especially over body prominences and traction application sites)
7. provide pin care for clients in skeletal traction
a. usually consist of cleansing and applying antibiotic ointment, but individual agency policies may vary
b. observe for any redness, drainage, odor
8. assist with ADL; provide overhead trapeze to facilitate moving, using bedpan, ect
9. prevent complications of immobility
10. encourage active ROM exercises to unaffected extremities
11. Check carefully for orders about turning