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Respiratory Diseases

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  • September 2010
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INTRODUCTION
Respiration is the process of taking in and using oxygen.  Diseases are any harmful change that interferes with the normal appearance, structure, or function of the body or any of its parts (Crisp & Taylor 2009).

The content of this topic will outline important issues that concern oxygen and respiratory disease. Respiratory disease is the term used for defining diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema and asthma. Common signs and symptoms of respiratory disease are coughing, wheezing, dyspnoea and production of abnormal secretions like sputum and haemoptysis (Jenkins et al 2008).

Respiratory disease accounted for 8.4% of the registered deaths in Australia in 2007. There was an estimated 6.6% increase in deaths caused by respiratory disease from 2006. For that reason it is fairly important to have knowledge concerning people’s respiratory system and how to prevent related diseases (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2007). In relation to nursing, it is important to monitor and record a full set of vital signs to be able to get the accurate results in order to prevent respiratory diseases. However, the implementation of this simple disease prevention method has been neglected in Hospitals around Australia and is thus the major cause of the rise in registered deaths in Australia due to respiratory diseases. The importance of this disease prevention method mentioned above will be discussed below in more detail due to it’s importance to the reduction of the death rate in Australia and the prevention of avoidable deaths.

RESPIRATORY RATE: THE NEGLECTED VITAL SIGN
This article targets nurses with the intention of letting them know that respiratory rate is important and is considered a standard for observing and monitoring the patients on acute hospital wards, particularly with patients who have a respiratory condition. It outlines that the level of documentation of respiratory rate of the patients in many...