|Type of paper:||Critical thinking|
|Categories:||History Economics Medicine|
Mucormycosis, mucor is a deadly and frequently diagnosed fungal infection that affects the breathing system. Initially, the infection was called zygomycosis. However, the name was dropped because most studies discovered that it was mostly caused by the Mucoraceae fungi Arab (Arab et al., 2018). Ideally, Mucor belongs to a group of fungi called Mucorales that are responsible for causing the mucormycosis infection. It is impossible to avoid contracting this disease because it fungi are found all over in the environment - mostly in soils and decaying organic matter. On one comes breathes in these fungi, they develop an infection in the lungs that is likely to spread to other parts of the body (Arab et al., 2018). Even so, the impact of this infection depends on the immunity of the infected person. People with weak immune systems are the most victims of the infection.
In addition, the prevalence of cancer, diabetes, and organ transplant procedures are increasing on a daily basis. Studies have revealed that people diagnosed with these diseases are at a higher risk of contracting the infection (Arab et al., 2018). The implication here is that early diagnosis of this infection is necessary because it can exacerbate the disease and threaten the life of the patient.
Pathophysiologic progression of the Infection into Pneumonia
Fungal infections such as mucormycosis have the possibility of infecting the body without any apparent symptoms of the disease. In some cases, however, the pathophysiological growth of the infection into pneumonia is a rapid process. Statistics show that fungal pneumonia is one of the leading cause of death in developed countries (Woolnough, Fairs, Pashley, & Wardlaw, 2015). Given that the infection affects the lungs - an essential organ, early diagnosis, and treatment are necessary to save lives. This section gives insight into the process in which Mucor is developing into pneumonia. The most common causes of pneumonia are however caused by viral infections (Woolnough et al., 2015). This implies that the cause of the disease has to be established before treatment is commenced.
The development of fungal pneumonia begins with inhalation of fungal spores from the environment that forms an infection in the lungs of a person with very weak immunity. In some instances, the lung infection can be a repeat of a latent infection (Woolnough et al., 2015). Predominant fungal pathogens such as Mucor also have the ability to cause infection in healthy people. When the Mucar fungi reach the lungs, the alveoli (air sacs) become inflamed and filled with fluid. This implies that there is no more storage space for oxygen in the lungs. As a result, the patient starts developing symptoms such as coughs, chills, and breathing difficulties. The supply of oxygen becomes limited in the body, causing the body to become weak. If the patient does not get medical attention in good time, pneumonia can lead to loss of life. Most fatal cases of pneumonia are reported among young children, old people (65 years and above), people suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and people who have developed low immunity for certain reasons (Arab et al., 2018). The latter group excludes HIV-positive patients because studies have not linked the disease to pneumonia prevalence.
The diagnosis of pneumonia is not a straightforward process. It based on the findings of the clinical, radiologic, and microbial examinations of the patient. The radiologic examination is usually meant to establish the type of pneumonia i.e. whether the lung infection is at one spot (lobar pneumonia) or it is spread with patches all over the lung(s) (Salisbury et al., 2017). Blood tests are done to establish the primary organism causing pneumonia i.e. whether it is based on a viral or fungal infection. Treatment and nursing intervention involved includes administration of antifungal medications Salisbury et al., 2017). Patients who have developed complications such as mediastinal fibromatosis and histoplasmosis may need close monitoring.
According to the outcome of laboratory blood test provided, all tests are normal except for the blood sugar levels (glucose, fasting), the partial pressure of O2 (PaO2), and the partial pressure of CO2 (PaCO2).
Blood Sugar Levels
Sugar is important in the body. However, abnormal sugar levels could be an indication of a serious health problem, mostly diabetes. The results indicate that the patient's sugar levels were 138mg/dl. Medical practitioners consider normal blood sugar levels to be less than 1oomg/dl. Blood sugar levels between 100-125mg/dl are a sign of pre-diabetes (Leite-Filho et al., 2016). Similarly, glucose levels above 135mg/dl of blood indicate that the patient is diabetic. In the present case, the patient's blood sugar levels were 138mg/dl, a clear indication of diabetes. Given that the WBC blood count is in the normal range, the patient had a good immune system (Leite-Filho et al., 2016). The presence of lobar pneumonia as seen from the chest x-ray results could be as a result of diabetes.
PaO2 and PaCO2
The partial pressure of oxygen and carbon dioxide tell about the circulation of air in the blood. The patient had a low partial pressure of the two gases. Normal PaO2 is between 75-100mmHg. PaCO2 between 38 and 42 is considered to be normal. The result of this is that the patient can experience breathing difficulties. The supply of oxygen in the blood diminishes. This can affect the normal functioning of other body organs and loss of life if treatment is not sought on time (Leite-Filho et al., 2016). A patient with such a problem can be admitted and sometimes put on a breathing machine in order to replenish oxygen in the blood.
Treatment and Medications
The treatment of pneumonia basically involves getting rid of the causative organism. Bacterial pneumonia is treated using antibiotics. However, the antibiotic prescribed by the doctor has to coincide with the exact bacterial organism causing the infection. Otherwise, the effectiveness of the medication may be subject to trial and error (Leite-Filho et al., 2016). This implies that a different antibiotic may be suggested if the previous one is not working. In addition, the drugs prescribed by the medical practitioner may depend on the severity of the disease. For mild bacterial infections, Erythrocin (erythromycin), Zithromax (azithromycin) or Biaxin (clarithromycin) may be administered. However, for serious cases such as those accompanied by chronic conditions, the stronger antibiotics may be required (Leite-Filho et al., 2016). For fungal infections such as this, the doctor may prescribe antifungal drugs that are capable of killing the Mucor fungi causing the infection. Examples of medications that can be prescribed to treat fungal pneumonia include Sporanox (itraconazole), Amphotericin B, or Noxafil (posaconazole) (Leite-Filho et al., 2016).
Other symptoms that are attributable to pneumonia such as coughs also need to be suppressed. Although coughs are important in helping to held rid of the fluid in air sacs, calming it down using small doses may be required in order to give the patient some rest (Salisbury et al., 2017). There is limited research to show that over-the-counter cough medications can suppress a pneumonia-related cough. As such, patients are advised to rely on the prescriptions made by the doctor.
The treatment of pneumonia is also concerned with relieving the patient of breathing difficulties. In this regard, medications that can help in loosening the mucus in the chest are given. The most common medications for chest congestion Ventolin and Albuterol (Salisbury et al., 2017). Most importantly, analgesics are also prescribed in order to help in dealing with fever and pains emanating from the disease. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are the most commonly administered drugs.
Arab, T. M., Ullah, T., Malekzadegan, M., Martinez, G., Bagheri, F., Sarkar, S., & Pathak, N. (2018). Pulmonary Mucormycosis Mimicking Pneumonia. In C58. FUNGAL CASE REPORTS (pp. A5416-A5416). American Thoracic Society.
Leite-Filho, R. V., Fredo, G., Lupion, C. G., Spanamberg, A., Carvalho, G., Ferreiro, L., & Sonne, L. (2016). Chronic Invasive Pulmonary Aspergillosis in Two Cats with Diabetes Mellitus. Journal of comparative pathology, 155(2-3), 141-144.
Salisbury, M. L., Myers, J. L., Belloli, E. A., Kazerooni, E. A., Martinez, F. J., & Flaherty, K. R. (2017). Diagnosis and treatment of fibrotic hypersensitivity pneumonia. Where we stand and where we need to go. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 196(6), 690-699.
Woolnough, K., Fairs, A., Pashley, C. H., & Wardlaw, A. J. (2015). Allergic fungal airway disease: pathophysiologic and diagnostic considerations. Current opinion in pulmonary medicine, 21(1), 39-47.
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