Which is a higher priority?
1. A 40 year old woman vomiting or
2. A 70 year old with C-Diff having diarrhea?
The answer was 2. Please explain. Isn't diarrhea a normal symptom of C-Diff?
Dec 11, '07
I just got out of a nursing final, so my brain is kinda mushy, but I think that the 70 y/o patient is higher priority because of her age...both are prone to hypovolemia. Does anyone else have a different reason?
Dec 11, '07
I agree with Brighella.
Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to recurring infections.
Complications of C. difficile infections include:
- Dehydration. This makes it difficult for your body to function normally and can cause blood pressure to drop to dangerously low levels (hypotension).
- Kidney failure. In some cases, dehydration can occur so quickly that the kidneys shut down (kidney failure).
- A hole in the bowel (bowel perforation). A perforated bowel can spill bacteria from the intestine into your abdominal cavity, leading to a life-threatening infection (peritonitis).
- Toxic megacolon. A ruptured colon requires emergency surgery and in some cases may be fatal.
- Death. Even mild to moderate C. difficile infections can quickly become fatal if not treated promptly with the appropriate medication.
Dec 11, '07
Vomiting in a 40-year old with nothing else said is a symptom. C-Diff is actually a medical condition, C-Diff enteritis, which requires medical treatment in the form of antibiotics and fluids. More fluids and electrolytes are lost through the lower GI tract because of the diarrhea of C-Diff, which can be ongoing, in a 70-year old than vomiting in a 40-year old. Other symptoms of the D-Diff are abdominal cramping and fever. It's a nasty illness and the person with it is miserable. Treatment usually involves being on antibiotics for a couple of weeks.
Jan 11, '08
70 year old with diarrhea is definately higher priority. Reason: Elderly people have 60 percent water content in their bodies, as opposed to 70 percent for younger adults. As the elderly lose their lean body mass (muscle mass), the water levels in their bodies decrease, making them more prone to dehydration. So, they have a lower amount to start with, add diarrhea to that now they have even less....dehydration occurs.
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