Case study of a child with asthma

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Contents

Introduction………………………………………………………………….pg.2

History……………………………………………………………………….pg.2

Patho-physiology…………………………………………………………….pg.3

Diagnosis…………………………………………………………………….pg.4

Nursing Care…………………………………………………………………pg.6

Conclusion…………………………………………………………………….pg.8

Reference list…………………………………………………………………pg.9

Appendix 1……………………………………………………………………pg.11

                                        

Introduction

This academic assignment will discuss a case study of a child who is suffering from asthma. To protect the child’s identity for the purpose of this assignment he will be referred to as David. Petrila (2000) describes confidentiality to be the right of an individual patient to have personal, identifiable medical information kept private.

 According to Johnson (2008) asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease involving recurrent breathing problems such as wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness.  Chronic illness may be defined as a disorder with a protracted course which can be progressive and fatal or associated with a relatively normal lifespan despite impaired physical or mental functioning (Coyne 1997). These diseases including ones such as asthma frequently shows periods of acute exacerbations requiring intensive medical attention (Nuutila and Salanterä 1997).

History

David is a nine year old boy who was admitted to hospital by ambulance after suffering what his parents described to be severe shortness of breathing and wheezing. He has no previous history of asthma but is presenting with symptoms similar to the condition. Both of his parents are smokers and the family live in a two storey house which has carpets throughout. According to Kirschmann (2006) dust mites which are regularly found in carpets are an allergen known to cause asthma attacks.  David shares his bedroom with his younger brother. Also his mother suffered from the condition as a child. Naspitz et al (2001) suggests that a family history of asthma greatly increases a child’s chance of inheriting the condition.

Patho-Physiology

During an asthma attack a number of changes occur in the person’s respiratory tract. The symptoms of an asthma attack usually begin when the person is exposed to an allergen which causes their body to go into a process which is known as inflammation. These allergens are things such as infections, airborne irritants such as cigarette smoking, medicines, emotional factors and the weather.  During normal respiration air travels into the lungs via the trachea. It then travels down a number of branches called the bronchi; these separate further into bronchioles and then into tiny air sacs called alveoli.

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A method by which our body protects itself is by a natural biological process which is  known as Inflammation. This point is supported by Meggs and Svec (2004) who state that inflammation is a key component of our immune system and protects us from infection.  In a person who does not have asthma this process will send white blood cells to the site of the infection which will attempt to destroy the infection and prevent it from spreading. The white blood cells then cause the airway to swell and produce mucous. However in a person who has asthma their ...

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