Can the patient eat and drink? – Karen Barnard Interview


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Karen Barnard is the Advanced Trauma Nurse Practitioner at The Royal Berkshire Hospital and has been in this post for around 9 years.


That is one question that we do get asked and it will depend a lot on the injury that the patient has and how serious it is. The majority of our patients are allowed to take sips of fluid to start with and have a very light diet just to make sure they’re eating and drinking.

We do keep a check on their bowel sounds to make sure that those are working and if they develop any nausea or anything similar, then we will make them nil by mouth but we do have them on a drip initially as well so they have got IV fluids running so they don’t get dehydrated.

And invariably, they should have a catheter in as well, particularly in the high thoracic and cervical spine injuries or if any the spinal injury at any level is an unstable one.