CIWA: OK to reassess in less than 4 hours?

  1. I was always under the impression that you needed to recheck AT LEAST every 4 hours but could recheck sooner. For example, I come on for my shift and always assess CIWA with my nursing assessment then recheck in 4 hours if patient is fine in the mean time, in 1 hour if they need a prn follow up or at any point it becomes clear symptoms are emerging that would score them to high enough to get a prn medication.

    Is it wrong to do more often than the set schedule? In my hospital setting I get the occasional detox patient and am not in a specialty setting. Would like to know what other nurses are doing and hoping I'm not totally off in my nursing. Thanks so much for your input!
    Last edit by dreamingoftheocean on May 26, '13
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    Joined: Sep '06; Posts: 14


  3. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    You are not at all off...that is why the PRNs exist!
  4. by   Meriwhen
    IMO you reassess a CIWA patient as frequently as you feel necessary. If you feel that means q1h, then do it q1h.

    Personally, I think 4 hours is too long to let a CIWA patient go without checking on withdrawal...maybe if they're 2-3 days into w/d when they're more stable would I let 4 hours go by. I reassess my CIWAs q2h, more frequently as symptoms and PRNs warrant.
  5. by   Whispera
    The reassess is AT LEAST every four hours. If you give meds, you definitely reassess soon. And, you reassess often if there's any change at all!
    I give meds, then reassess in one hour to determine my plans for the next several hours. Good question; better to ask than wonder ) <--wait a minute-my smiley face turned into some pink circular animal thing?