Risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction

Risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction

Domain 11. Safety-protection
Class 2. Physical injury
Diagnostic Code: 00086
Nanda label: Risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction
Diagnostic focus: Neurovascular function

Peripheral neurovascular dysfunction is a medical condition in which there is a disruption in the nerve fibers and associated blood vessels in the body’s peripheral areas. This dysfunction can result from various sources, including underlying health issues such as diabetes, vascular diseases, traumatic injuries, or progressive nerve damage due to aging. Regardless of the originating cause, treating peripheral neurovascular dysfunction has been problematic for healthcare providers in the past. It is for this reason that identifying associated risk factors and focusing on early intervention have become essential to effective management and treatment of this complex condition.

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

The National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NANDA) defines nursing diagnosis risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction as “a state in which individuals are at risk for a disruption in the nerve fibers and their associated blood vessels, leading to difficulty functioning”. When this diagnosis is made, nurses are responsible for taking steps to identify the contributing factors and intervening before the negative outcomes become further-reaching.

Risk Factors

Various risk factors contribute to an individual’s degree of risk for developing peripheral neurovascular dysfunction. Some of these include:

  • Vascular Disease: Vascular diseases are a common contributing factor to peripheral neurovascular dysfunction, as they affect the quality and construct of the body’s vessels. Patients with a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, or stroke that have not been effectively managed are at higher risk for developing this condition.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes affects the ability of the body to absorb essential nutrients and oxygen to maintain healthy blood flow. Without proper management and lifestyle changes, patients with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing peripheral neurovascular dysfunction.
  • Traumatic Injuries: Traumatic injuries to the head, neck, or other areas of the body can produce lifestyle changes that put a person at risk of developing peripheral neurovascular dysfunction. It is important to stress the importance of timely medical attention to reduce the risk of this condition in individuals who have experienced recent traumatic events.
  • Aging: The gradual damage to nerve fibers that occurs due to aging can also increase a person’s risk of developing peripheral neurovascular dysfunction. Healthcare providers should consider this factor when assessing the overall health of older patients.

Associated Conditions

Other conditions that may be associated with the development of peripheral neurovascular dysfunction include:

  • Muscle weakness: Muscle weakness can complicate vital activities such as walking, standing, or lifting. This can occur with decreased nerve function, an inability to activate certain muscles and eventually lead to fatigue.
  • Loss of sensation: Reduced nerve function can interfere with sensation and the ability to experience touch, temperature, and pain. This can pose an additional risk for individuals who experience these lowered sensitivities, particularly during hazardous activities.
  • Joint pain: Pain in the joints is often indicative of decreased nerve function and the onset of peripheral neurovascular dysfunction. Joint pain can severely restrict a person’s mobility and their ability to participate in daily activities.
  • Difficulty Breathing: Difficulty breathing can be a symptom of peripheral neurovascular dysfunction, usually accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain or tightness, wheezing, or breathlessness.

Suggestions for Use

When considering a diagnosis of risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction, healthcare providers should strive to prioritize preventative care and discuss preventative measures with their patients. Options such as medications and lifestyle modifications should be discussed, emphasizing the importance of proper maintenance and management of any pre-existing health issues. If the condition worsens, rehabilitative therapies such as occupational, physical, speech, and cognitive therapy can help reduce negative symptoms and improve rehabilitation.

Suggested Alternative NANDA Nursing Diagnosis

In addition to risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction, healthcare providers may also consider related NANDA nursing diagnoses such as:

  • Impaired Physical Mobility: impaired physical mobility results from reduced functioning of the lower extremities resulting from poor peripheral neurovascular control.
  • Ineffective Coping: ineffective coping is a natural consequence of the compounded effects produced by decreased peripheral neurovascular abilities, such as reduced physical ability, loss of sensation etc.
  • Activity Intolerance: activity intolerance is caused by decreased stamina, usually due to inadequate oxygen absorption and reduced nerve function.
  • Impaired Memory: impaired memory is a potential consequence of decreased nerve functioning in the central nervous system, resulting in reduced sensory input and neurological stimulation.

Usage Tips

To appropriately assess and diagnose risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction, healthcare providers should be aware of its core symptoms, associated health issues, and risk factors. They should also recognize the need for prompt and appropriate intervention through preventative lifestyle changes and therapeutic treatments. This can significantly reduce a patient’s overall risk of developing advanced stages of this condition.

NOC Outcomes

Below are a few NOC outcomes associated with nursing risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction:

  • Activity Tolerance: Activity Tolerance measures the patient’s ability to engage in physical activity despite any underlying health issues. This outcome assesses the level at which an individual can perform tasks and needs to be inculcated based on their overall health.
  • Sensory Perception: Sensory Perception involves testing an individual’s ability to respond to four senses of touch, pain, temperature and vibration and how quickly he/she responds to these stimuli.
  • Mobility Level: Mobility Level is a measure of an individual’s ability to move and perform daily activities, both inside and outside of the house.
  • Cognitive Functioning: Cognitive Functioning tests a person’s ability to recall, process and interpret different sensory stimuli and information.

Evaluation Objectives and Criteria

When evaluating patients in risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction, the following objectives, criteria, and interventions should be considered:

  • Rehabilitative strategies: rehabilitative strategies should be established with the patient and healthcare provider to ensure positive progress. These strategies involve integrative, cognitive, physical, and occupational therapies.
  • Medications: depending on the specific condition and pre-existing health conditions, medication may be issued to help manage pain and other symptoms.
  • Therapies: therapies such as electric nerve stimulations, diathermy, and therapeutic ultrasound can be used to address any accompanying haemodynamic, mechanical, and chemical problems.
  • Stretching Exercises: light stretching and strengthening exercises can help improve motor control and reduce the risk of further deterioration.

NIC Interventions

When treating a patient risks for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction, the following NIC interventions should be taken into consideration:

  • Comprehensive Nursing Assessment: the nurse can focus on a concise, detailed assessment of the patient’s physical, neurological, and psychosocial health status to formulate an effective plan of care.
  • Pain Management: assisting the patient in alleviating and managing any pain associated with the condition can be essential for providing a comfortable environment for activities of day to day living.
  • Mobility Assistance: providing assistance with mobility can help reduce the risk of further injury and provide a more comfortable transition between points of motion.
  • Counseling/Support: offering emotional and psychological support to the patient can be beneficial in aiding the healing process and helping them adjust to the changes in their daily life.

Nursing Activities

When caring for a patient with risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction, nurses should focus on assessing the patient’s condition and level of impairment, monitoring his/her overall health status, and providing appropriate interventions. These activities can include, but are not limited to, monitoring vital signs, providing proper nutrition and medications as prescribed, helping to manage pain and providing emotional support.


Nursing diagnosis risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction is a complex medical condition that requires comprehensive assessment and proper interventions. Healthcare providers must be aware of the contributing factors, associated conditions, and available treatments to ensure success in the treatment of this issue. By introducing preventative measures and taking appropriate interventions, healthcare providers can improve the overall quality of life and chances of successful recovery in individuals with risk for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction.


  • What is Peripheral Neurovascular Dysfunction?
    Peripheral neurovascular dysfunction is a medical condition resulting from a disruption of the nerve fibers and their associated blood vessels in the body’s peripheral areas.
  • What Are the Risk Factors of Peripheral Neurovascular Dysfunction?
    Risk factors for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction include vascular disease, diabetes, traumatic injuries, and aging.
  • What Are the Associated Conditions of Peripheral Neurovascular Dysfunction?
    Common associated conditions of peripheral neurovascular dysfunction include muscle weakness, loss of sensation, joint pain, and difficulty breathing.
  • How Can Peripheral Neurovascular Dysfunction Be Treated?
    Treatments for peripheral neurovascular dysfunction include medications, lifestyle modifications, rehabilitative therapies, and other interventions.
  • What Is Involved in the Evaluation of Peripheral Neurovascular Dysfunction?
    Evaluating peripheral neurovascular dysfunction typically includes assessing the patient’s general condition and levels of impairment, as well as making sure that all medications, therapies, and other interventions are being administered as necessary.