The nurse is caring for a client scheduled to receive electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Following the procedure, the nurse should be watching for which serious complications?

Select all that apply.
  1. skin burns
  2. airway compromise
  3. cardiac dysrhythmias
  4. loss of bladder control
  5. neurological complications
Numbers 2, 3, and 5 are correct.
Rationale: Serious complications of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) include airway compromise, cardiac dysrhythmias, and neurological complications. The nurse should monitor vital signs and assess for the return of the gag reflex. Telemetry can detect changes in heart rhythm. Neurological complications include numbness and tingling and memory loss. Orienting the client and performing neurological assessments are part of the recovery process. Skin burns are rare and mild side effects most commonly caused by improper lead placement. Loss of bladder control is not a serious complication. The client should be offered toileting before the procedure.