Pancreatitis, an Inflammation of the Pancreas

Topics: Pancreas, Small intestine, Digestion Pages: 1 (320 words) Published: December 13, 2012
My client was admitted into Healthcare for having severe abdominal pain in his upper left quadrant. Due to the degree of pain experienced by the patient he went to the ER. The patient was later admitted after doctors made a diagnosis. The doctors determined the patient was suffering from pancreatitis. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas (Linton, 2012, p.867). There are three different factors of pancreatitis the first is mechanical, the second metabolic, and the third is miscellaneous. After an assessment of the patient’s health history it was discovered he has had previous occurrences with pancreatitis as well as an admission of binge drinking. According to Sommers, “Metabolic causes result from changes in the secretory processes of the acinar cells in conditions such as alcoholism (90% of the cases), diabetic ketoacidosis, hyperlipidemia, hypercalcemia, and drugs (acetaminophen, estrogen)” (p.753).

According to the text, when inflammation of the pancreas occurs, there are digestive enzymes that are used to break down protein and fat. This process normally occurs in the duodenum (small intestine). In the case of pancreatitis, the enzymes leak which causes damage to the surrounding pancreatic tissue. This process is called autodigestion (Sommers, 2011, p.753). The patient was experiencing acute abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, diaphoresis, tachycardia, and has had a decrease in blood pressure. The symptoms previously mentioned are all indications of pancreatitis. In order to control pancreatic inflammation, precautionary measures and monitoring of fluids and electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, and potassium) are essential. Monitoring of the blood glucose with finger sticks every six hours are necessary to determine the need for insulin replacement. However, the number one priority problem as a nurse is to control the patient’s pain through the use of opioid analgesics. Pain management will decrease the signs and symptoms of pancreatitis. While...
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