Case Study: End-of-Life Care
Case Study: End-of-Life Care
Joe Clark, 79 years of age, is a male patient who is receiving hospice care for his terminal illnesses that include lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He developed bilateral pleural effusion (fluid that accumulates in the pleural space of each lung), which has compromised his lung expansion. He states that he is short of breath and feels anxious that the next breath will be his last. The patient is admitted to the hospital for a thoracentesis (an invasive procedure used to drain the fluid from the pleural space so the lung can expand). The thoracentesis is being used as a palliative measure to relieve the discomfort he is experiencing. Low dose morphine is ordered to provide relief from dyspnea or discomfort. The patient is prescribed Proventil (albuterol) inhaler 2 puffs per day, as needed, and Flovent (fluticasone propionate) inhaler 2 puffs twice a day. The patient has 2 L/min of oxygen ordered per nasal cannula as needed for comfort. (Learning Objective 9)
a. What nursing measures should the nurse use to manage the patient’s dyspnea?
b. The patient complains that he has no appetite and struggles to eat and breathe. What nursing measures should the nurse implement to manage this physiologic response to the terminal illnesses?
Chapter 17, Preoperative Nursing Management
The nurse in a gynecology clinic is completing preoperative teaching for a patient scheduled for an abdominal hysterectomy next week. The patient states that she is currently taking 325 mg of aspirin daily for chronic joint pain, along with a multivitamin. The patient has type 2 diabetes; she closely monitors her blood glucose levels. Currently, she is taking an oral hypoglycemic agent. The nurse advises her to ask the anesthesiologist whether she should take this medication the morning of surgery. (Learning Objectives 2 and 4)
a. The nurse instructs the patient to stop taking the aspirin. What is the rationale for this action?
b. Why is it important to assess the patient for use of herbal products prior to surgery?
c. The patient asks how surgery could affect her blood glucose; how should the nurse respond?
QUESTION 18: Chapter 18, Intraoperative Nursing Management
Pearl Richards, 69 years of age, is a female patient who is in the operating room for a repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm. The patient has a history of hypertension controlled with medications, osteoporosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and has smoked two packs of cigarettes per day for 40 years. (Learning Objectives 2, 6, and 9)
a. What nursing interventions are instituted to reduce the surgical risk factors related to the patient’s age?
b. Explain the role of the nurse in providing patient safety measures during the intraoperative period.
QUESTION 19: Chapter 19, Postoperative Nursing Management
1. Rita Schmidt, 74 years of age, is a female patient who was admitted to the surgical unit after undergoing removal of a section of the colon for colorectal cancer. The patient does not have a colostomy. The patient has several small abdominal incisions and a clear dressing over each site. The incisions are well approximated and the staples are dry and intact. There is a Jackson-Pratt drain intact with minimal serous sanguineous drainage present. The patient has a Salem sump tube connected to low continuous wall suction that is draining a small amount of brown liquid. The patient has no bowel sounds. The Foley catheter has a small amount of dark amber-colored urine without sediments. The patient has sequential compression device (SCD) in place. The nurse performs an assessment and notes that the patient’s breath sounds are decreased bilaterally in the bases and the patient has inspiratory crackles. The patient’s cardiac assessment is within normal limits. The patient is receiving O2 at 2 L per nasal cannula with a pulse oximetry reading of 95%. The vital signs include: blood pressure, 100/50 mm Hg; heart rate 110 bpm; respiratory rate 16 breaths/min; and the patient is afebrile. The patient is confused as to place and time. (Learning Objectives 4 and 7)
a. Explain the assessment parameters used to provide clues to detect postoperative problems early and the interventions needed.
b. What gerontological postoperative considerations should the nurse make?
2. Mr. John Smith is admitted to the hospital for surgical incision and drainage (I&D) of an abscess on his right calf, which resulted from a farm machinery accident. The right calf has an area 3 cm × 2.5 cm, which is red, warm and hard to touch, and edematous. (Learning Objective 5)
a. Explain the wound healing process according to the phase of Mr. Smith’s wound?
b. The surgeon orders for wet-to-dry sterile saline dressing twice a day with iodoform gauze to the wound, covered with the wet-to-dry dressing. Explain how to perform this dressing change
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