Causes and Symptoms of Rheumatic Fever

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  • Topic: Rheumatic fever, Streptococcus, Inflammation
  • Pages : 5 (841 words )
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  • Published : April 18, 2012
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Rheumatic Fever

|Pathology & Etiology: | | | |Rheumatic fever is an acute inflammatory disease of the heart potentially involving all layers of the heart. Resulting from scaring and deformity of the heart | |valves. (Lewis, 2011) | |Rheumatic fever may develop after an infection with Streptococcus bacteria (such as strep throat or scarlet fever). The disease can affect the heart, joints, skin,| |and brain. (National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institute Health, 2012) | |Rheumatic fever is common worldwide and is responsible for many cases of damaged heart valves. It is not common in the United States, and usually occurs in | |isolated outbreaks. The latest outbreak was in the 1980s. (National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institute Health, 2012) | |Rheumatic fever mainly affects children ages 6 -15, and occurs approximately 20 days after strep throat or scarlet fever. (National Center for Biotechnology | |Information, National Institute Health, 2012) | |Case Study: | |A 25 year old rock-n-roll singer complains of a sore throat with swollen lymph nodes and fever. She has also experienced nausea and vomiting. Her lifestyle | |consisted of heavy alcohol use and cigarette smoking. She was also under constant stress, sleep deprivation, and malnutrition. She is under the assumption that the| |symptoms are merely consequences of her rock and roll lifestyle. She took over-the-counter medication to ease the symptoms, including lozenges to soothe her throat| |and aspirin to reduce her fever. With such a busy concert schedule, she did not feel that the symptoms were serious enough to seek medical help. | |Three weeks later, the woman complains of joint pain in her knees and ankles, with slight chest pain and shortness of breath. Again, the woman attributes the | |symptoms to her lifestyle and the energy she puts into performances, and does not seek medical attention. She further self medicates with an anti-inflammatory. | |A number of years later, the band attempted to put on a reunion concert. During the show, the patient collapsed on stage and was rushed to the hospital. Her blood | |pressure was 102/64 mmHg and her EKG showed atrial fibrillation with a prolonged PR interval. Her chest X-ray indicated carditis (inflammation of the heart). The | |patient was coherent and complained of chest pain and shortness of breath. Upon observation, a whistle was heard between S2 and S1. Light rales were also heard | |during respiration. | | | |(National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Institute Health, 2012) | |Risk Factors: |Prognosis:...
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