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A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that has an external part placed behind the ear, and internal part placed wihtin the ear. This implant can provide a sense of sound to the profoundly deaf and hard of hearing.

The National Institute on Deafness has a wonderful site dedicated to how the cochlear implant works. The illustration of the implant itself is elightening.

Post operative nursing care:

Q4 neuro assessment, including check for CSF leak, facial droop related to 7th cranial nerve damage.

-Shrug shoulders, wrinkle nose, smile, close eyes. Facial droop present? Symmetrical

Mastoid dressing to remain in place until seen by resident for removal. Usually 72 hours (2-3 days):

Mastoid dressing supplies: 3 sterile kerlix rolls, 5 fluffs, Adaptic, vaseline/bacitracin, scissors, cotton swabs, normal saline, peroxide. These need to be at the bedside at all times. The resident applies the dressing, never the nurse.

DO NOT get incision or drain site wet. Keep area clean and dry until drain and sutures are removed.

DO NOT allow patient to do any heavy lifting or strenuous activity during hospital stay.

  • This restriction will continue for 2 weeks following discharge.

Page the resident on call if you note:

  • Swelling, redness or foul smelling drainage from incision or drain site.
  • If mastoid dressing becomes saturated with frank red blood, page the resident on call.
  • Temperature greater than 101

Prior to discharge make sure you have reviewed Suture Line Care (SLC) with patient and caregiver.

**Special note: patients with cochlear implants MUST have a private room on 3JPW.

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