Clinical Conditions Pathologies
artery disease is a disorder that affects the arteries that provide blood,
oxygen, and nutrients to the myocardium. The artery’s blood flow is partially
or completely blocked. Acute myocardial infarction is the most serious acute
coronary syndrome. When blood flow is reduced abruptly by 80-90% ischemia
develops. If this is not restored oxygen deprivation occurs due to necrosis of
tissue and lack of blood flow. An acute myocardial infarction presents with chest
pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and chest tightness.
heart failure is a chronic heart problem. Congestive heart failure is also
referred to left-sided heart failure, however left-sided heart failure is not
always congestive. Typical causes include: hypertension, coronary artery
disease, and valvular disease. If this is not treated it can be life
threatening, because the heart is not pumping to its full potential.
I Diabetes Mellitus: People with type I diabetes mellitus have a pancreas that
does not produce enough insulin. This type of diabetes is usually diagnosed at
a young age. The lack of insulin prevents the body from being able to break
down the sugar that the person consumes. This type of diabetes can be
controlled and managed, however if it is uncontrolled it can cause serious
complications such as, neuropathy, kidney disease, heart disease, and eye
Diabetes Mellitus: In type II diabetes the body does not use the insulin that
it has properly. This is referred to as insulin resistance. This type of
diabetes is usually diagnosed in adulthood rather than childhood. The body
tries to compensate and make more insulin, however over time the body is not
able to keep up to regulate the blood glucose to normal levels. This type of
diabetes can be controlled with diet and exercise, however if proper diet and
exercise is not practiced then medication will have to be used.
Hypertension is classified as a systolic pressure of 140 mm Hg or higher or a
diastolic pressure of 90 mm Hg or higher. Hypertension if not treated properly
can cause serious health problems such as, stroke, myocardial infarction,
kidney failure and death. Hypertension is caused by vascular resistance (vessel
constriction or dilation) when the blood vessels are too constricted. Family
history, smoking, excessive sodium and caffeine, overweight, physical
inactivity, excessive alcohol intake, and stress are all risk factors for
Kidney Injury: This can be classified as a risk, injury, or failure. An acute
kidney injury is described as when kidney function is rapidly reduced and the
kidneys are not able to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance and acid base
balance. This can occur over a few hours or days. The severity of the injury is
based on increased levels of serum creatinine and decreased urine output.
Reduced perfusion to the kidneys, damage to kidney tissue, and obstruction are
all causes of AKI.
Kidney Disease has a gradual onset of progressive, irreversible damage. The
kidney function will not recover from the damage that has occurred. End-stage
kidney disease is the last stage of kidney disease and the only way to live
with this is renal replacement therapy or a kidney transplant. You can prevent
further damage or slow the progression of CKD by carefully managing fluid
volume, blood pressure, electrolytes, and other kidney-damaging diseases. It is
important for the patient with CKD to follow the prescribed medication and
is an infection in the lungs that results from inflammation from inhaling too
many bacterial, viral, or fungal agents. The inflammation and infection occurs
in the interstitial spaces, the alveoli, and the bronchioles. There is excess
fluid in the lungs from WBC’s in the area of infection that causes capillary
leak, edema, and exudate. Pneumonia is very common in elderly and people with
compromised immune systems and can often lead to death in these people. Patient
65 and older should be educated and encouraged to get the vaccine, and patients
in the hospital should be encouraged to use an incentive spirometer to prevent
bacteria from getting stuck in the lungs.
is an infection that has reached the bloodstream. When this happens systemic
inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) is triggered. Inflammation in sepsis is a
bad reaction, because it leads to extensive hormonal, tissue and vascular
changes and stress that impairs oxygenation and tissue perfusion. If sepsis is
not treated effectively and quick enough it can lead to shock and death. The
patient with sepsis will experience mild hypotension, low urine output, and an
increased respiratory rate. Sepsis can lead to organ damage also if not treated
Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a chronic health problem that obstructs proper
air flow. COPD is most often caused by smoking and is often seen in older
adults. It is characterized by two diseases: chronic bronchitis and pulmonary
emphysema. The air flow is restricted by inflammation in the lungs. The goal
for these patients is to make sure they have adequate gas exchange. These
patients often require oxygen administration, breathing techniques, drug
therapy, and sometimes surgery.
Arterial Disease: This disease is characterized by decreased perfusion to the
extremities. This is a serious condition, because the extremities cannot live
without proper oxygen and nutrient supply. This disease is a result of systemic
atherosclerosis, therefore the risk factors are the same as for atherosclerosis
which include hypertension, hyperlipidemia, smoking, high cholesterol, high
lipid levels, family history, diabetes mellitus, and obesity. People with this
disease are at risk for MI or strokes. Exercises, medication, and even surgery
can be used to help with this disease. However, it is important the person
stays active and has good nutrition.
Vascular Disease refers to when the veins get blocked and blood flow is
interrupted which results in decreased oxygenation to body tissues. This
disease can lead to deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, both which are
very serious conditions.
Vein Thrombosis is the most common type of thrombophlebitis. This is described
as a thrombus or blood clot that is associated with inflammation. This clot in
the vein can lead to a pulmonary embolism. Birth control, hip surgery, knee
replacement, open prostate surgery, ulcerative colitis, heart failure, cancer,
and immobility are all risk factors for this.
Embolism is when there is a collection of matter, that can be solids, liquids,
or air, that circulates through the veins and gets lodged in pulmonary vessels.
If the embolism is large enough it will obstruct blood flow and can potentially
cause death as a result of reduced gas exchange, reduced oxygenation, pulmonary
tissue hypoxia, and decreased perfusion. A pulmonary embolism is often a large
blood clot. This is often caused by DVT that break off and travel to the heart.
Accident (aka stroke) is when the perfusion to any part of the brain is
interrupted. This is a medical emergency and needs to be treated promptly to
prevent permanent damage. When the blood flow from the brain is cut off for
more than a few minutes cerebral tissue dies.
stroke is when a cerebral artery is blocked by a thrombus or embolus.
stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures and there is bleeding into the brain
tissue or into the subarachnoid space.
Disease can cause hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Both of these have major
effects and problems.
is caused by a person not having enough thyroid hormones. This can be a result
of the thyroid cells not producing enough hormones, or the person is not
ingesting enough iodide and tyrosine to make the thyroid hormones.
Hypothyroidism causes a lowered metabolic rate. Increased levels of TSH that
the body forms can lead to the thyroid gland enlarging forming a goiter.
Symptoms of hypothyroidism include dry skin, weight gain, constipation, and
lethargy. This can be treated with medication and surgery. Most patients with
hypothyroidism have to take a daily medication.
is when the body secretes too much thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland.
Hyperthyroidism increases the metabolism, and stimulates most body systems.
Hyperthyroidism can lead to increased heart rate, fatigue, increased appetite,
weight loss, anxiety, palpitations, chest pain, increased blood pressure, and
sweating. This type of thyroid disease can also be treated with medication and
Apnea occurs when breathing is disrupted for at least 10 seconds during sleep
and occurs at least 5 times in one hour. This is often caused by an upper
airway obstruction that is caused by the soft palate or the tongue. Obesity, a
large uvula, a short neck, smoking, enlarged tonsils, and oropharyngeal edema
all are risk factors for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea affects gas exchange
resulting in increased blood carbon dioxide and decreased pH. People with sleep
apnea often experience daytime sleepiness, inability to concentrate, and
irritability. However, if sleep apnea continues it can cause long term effects
such as risk for hypertension, stroke, neurocognitive deficits, weight gain,
diabetes, and pulmonary and cardiovascular disease.