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Is the diagnosis "risk for infection" still appropriate when pt has an infection

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by elliemae121 elliemae121 (New) New

1,096 Profile Views; 7 Posts

I have been told two different things. I was told recently that you treat the symptoms or other risk expected from infection if an infection has been diagnosed. Conversely, I was also told that you are not the doctor so you treat the patient, not the diagnosis. Any clarification would be appreciated!

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690 Posts; 15,039 Profile Views

I don't have an answer, but I kind of want to add on to what you said. I was very confused doing care plans because I got more than one answer. If a patient has, lets say a respiratory infection, why can't we still put at risk for infection because they are at risk for other infections? To me they are at risk as the next patient because of their foley, open wound etc.

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357 Posts; 5,661 Profile Views

I have been told two different things. I was told recently that you treat the symptoms or other risk expected from infection if an infection has been diagnosed. Conversely, I was also told that you are not the doctor so you treat the patient, not the diagnosis. Any clarification would be appreciated!

If your patient has an infection, then your nursing diagnosis would be related to the infection. Your patient could have impaired gas exchange, urinary retention, etc. Depending on the type and location of the infection, your patient could have all sorts of nursing diagnoses related to the actual infection.

In addition, if your patient is in the hospital, likely fairly immobile with a medical diagnosis, he is also very likely still at risk for infection. For example, your patient may well be at risk for pneumonia (infection) and you would treat that by encouraging C&DB, positioning, ambulation and much more.

But, if your patient already has pneumonia, you would have a nursing diagnosis of impaired gas exchange (or another oxygenation related ND). Risk for Infection may still be a potential ND for that patient, but it wouldn't be an ND relating to the pneumonia.

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Pneumothorax is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight.

1,178 Posts; 18,082 Profile Views

they are still at risk for infection , if they currently have one bc their immune system is weakened by the current infection.

this is kind of an extreme example, but if you have HIV or AIDS , you are at risk for an infection, you could get pneumonia.

;)

care plans suck, sorry.

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7 Posts; 1,096 Profile Views

Thanks everyone! I do feel a bit more clarified :). Careplans are so confusing, especially when instructors aren't consistent. Atleast now I have something more to backup my case if I'm using this as a diagnosis.

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