UNCOVERING THE SOURCE OF A COMA
PREPARED BY: ALLANTE WEBB DATE: 9/13/11 CHM 1030.007 The purpose of this case study is to apply the scientific method by making empirical observations, formulating a hypothesis, testing the hypothesis, revising the hypothesis, and eventually asserting a theory.
LG is a 35 year old woman who came into the emergency room with numerous of symptoms. She had stiff muscles and has shortness of breath. LG was also sweaty and shaky. These symptoms were experienced before she was diagnosed with hypokalemia. In her past medical history it was discovered that she suffers from spina bifida since birth, asthma, a latex allergy, has an ileostomy, and a leg weakness. Because of her leg weakness LG has to use a walker.
LG has been suffering from numerous things since birth. When a person has been diagnosed with other diseases or sickness it is common for them to be affected in other ways too. Over time I believe her spina bifida worsened and affected her lungs and made her muscles stiff. The result is bad because her health is more at risk. There was nothing done right or wrong. The disease just spread throughout her body and now is making it hard for her to breath. Even though she has asthma, which is treated with a nebulizer, this does not aide in her breathing. LG also had an ileostomy which is a surgical opening constructed by bringing the end loop of the small intestine out onto the surface of her skin.
In order to further support my hypothesis I would ask the patient to present to me her family medical history. This will help in finding a way to solve her symptoms that are now occurring. I would like to find out if spina bifida and or hypokalemia is in her past history. Having the family medical history will help me better understand how this happened to LG and why. I would asses her breathing and muscle strength. This would inform me how fast her bones are stiffening.
If spina bifida causes her shortness of breath and stiff muscles then that will explain why she has these symptoms. Hypokalemia is not the diagnosis of LG. I am now going to research both of these diagnoses and see if my hypothesis is proven. Hypokalemia is means that the potassium in the blood is too low. It causes a small elevation in blood pressure and can provoke cardiac arrthythmias. Cardiac arrthymias is when the heart’s normal rhythm is disrupted. This leads to shortness of breath. Hypokalemia causes muscles cramps, muscle weakness, and also constipation. Urinary loss, low potassium intake, and integument loss are a few causes of hypokalemia.
In order to treat hypokalemia it has to be determined how severe the case is. Mild hypokalemia is treated with an oral potassium chloride supplement. Potassium related food is put into the person’s diet. Severe hypokalemia is treated intravenous with an IV supplementation. When replacing potassium intravenously, infusion via a central line is encouraged to avoid the frequent occurrence of a burning sensation at the site of a peripheral IV, or the rare occurrence of damage to the vein. Spina bifida is a congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryo neural tube. There are no clear causes of this disease but researchers believe it could be environmental or genetic. In severe cases the spine and back will swell. The person will have nerve damage that will affect their daily life. The person with spina bifida also develops an allergy to latex. Spina bifida is diagnosed before and after birth. While pregnant a woman can get an ultrasound and have blood work done to see if her child has this defect. She can also undergo a maternal triple or quadruple screen. If the triple or quadruple screen test shows that you have elevated levels of alpha-fetoprotein a neural tube defect in the fetus, such as spina bifida, may be suspected. In this case more detailed tests are done.
Spina bifida can be treated by physical