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Alteration in Respiratory Function . Jan Bazner-Chandler RN, MSN, CNS, CPNP. Allergic Rhinitis. Assessment. Itching of nose, eyes, and throat Sneezing and stuffiness Watery nasal discharge / post nasal drip Watery eyes Swelling around the eyes. Assessment. Allergic Shiner.

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alteration in respiratory function

Alteration in Respiratory Function

Jan Bazner-Chandler RN, MSN, CNS, CPNP

  • Itching of nose, eyes, and throat
  • Sneezing and stuffiness
  • Watery nasal discharge / post nasal drip
  • Watery eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes

Allergic Shiner

Allergic Salute

rhinitis interdisciplinary interventions
Rhinitis Interdisciplinary Interventions
  • Avoid offending allergen – smoke / pets
  • Pharmacologic management:
    • Oral or nasal antihistamines - Benadryl
    • Leukotriene modifiers - Singulair
    • Mast cell stabilizers – cromylin – nasal / ophthalmic / inhaled
    • Allergen-specific immunotherapy
    • Do not use combination OTC medications especially those that contain pseudoephedrine
  • No OTC Antihistamines for children under 6 years of age.

  • Fever
  • Purulent rhinorrhea
  • Nasal congestion
  • Pain in facial area
  • Malodorous breath
  • Chronic night-time cough

Children more prone to sinusitis: children with asthma

and cystic fibrosis.

interdisciplinary interventions
Interdisciplinary Interventions
  • Normal saline nose drops
  • Warm pack to face
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Increase po fluid intake
  • Antibiotics
    • Recent studies question their effectiveness
  • Tonsils and adenoids are important to the normal development of the body’s immune system.
  • Serve as part of the body’s defense against infection
  • Can become the site of acute or chronic infection
  • Repeated acute infections cause the tonsil tissue to swell
  • Enlarged tonsils and adenoids impinge on the pharyngeal opening of the eustachian tube
  • Child may refuse to drink
  • Fever
  • Reddened pharynx and tonsils
  • Most common causative agent = group A beta-hemolytic stretococci
  • Chronic tonsillitis may result in snoring due to enlarged tonsils and adenoids

“Kissing tonsils” occur when the tonsils are so enlarged they touch each other.

interdisciplinary interventions12
Interdisciplinary Interventions
  • Throat culture to determine causative agent
  • Antibiotics for ten days if throat culturepositive for beta strep
  • Acetaminophen for pain
  • Cool fluids
  • Saline gargles
  • Antiseptic sprays
  • Viral throat infections will not get better faster with antibiotics.
  • Done if child’s respiratory status is compromised
  • Post operative care:
    • Side lying position
    • Ice collar
    • Watch for swallowing
    • Cool fluids / soft diet
  • Most common acute respiratory condition seen in early childhood.
  • Highest incidence from 6 months to about 3 years
  • Respiratory symptoms are caused by inflammation of the larynx and upper airway, with resultant narrowing of the airway.
  • Severity depends on the area of the upper airway that is inflamed and narrowed.
  • Most often viral – antibiotics are not needed
  • Symptoms:
    • Hoarseness
    • Inspiratory stridor
    • Barking cough
    • Afebrile
    • Often worsens at night
interdisciplinary interventions17
Interdisciplinary Interventions
  • Home care:
    • Cool mist
    • Fluids
  • Hospital care:
    • Racemic epinephrine inhalant
    • Mist tent – not used much anymore
    • Dexamethasone
    • IV fluids if not taking po fluids

Bowden & Greenberg

Tripod position

acute epiglottitis
Acute Epiglottitis
  • Acute inflammation of supraglottic structures, the epiglottis and aryepiglottic folds.
  • True pediatric emergency
  • Delayed treatment may result in complete airway obstruction
  • Most often seen in children 2 to 7 years
  • Most common causative agent – H. influenzae type B
  • Sudden onset
  • High fever – 102.2 or greater
  • Dysphasia and drooling
  • Agitation, irritability and restlessness
  • Epiglottis is cherry red and swollen
  • Note: Do not look into the mouth – diagnosis often made by presenting symptoms or lateral neck x-ray
interdisciplinary interventions21
Interdisciplinary Interventions
  • Keep child quiet in a controlled medical environment with emergency airway equipment readily available.
  • Do not put tongue blade in mouth to look in the throat – may cause epiglottis to spasm and shut
  • Assess respiratory status
  • Give humidified oxygen by mask and keep HOB elevated.
  • Mild sedation may help the child relax
  • Apnea is cessation of respirations lasting longer than 20 seconds.
  • Monitor in hospital for underlying problems
  • Discharge home with monitor
foreign body
Foreign Body
  • Severe inspiratory stridor
  • Symptoms depend on location
  • Unilateral chest movement
  • Chest x-ray
  • Bronchoscope to remove object
  • No small hard candies, raisins, popcorn or nuts until age 3 or 4 years
  • Cut food into small pieces
  • No running, jumping, or talking with food in mouth
  • Inspect toys for small parts
  • Keep coins, earring, balloons out of reach
  • Associated with community epidemic
  • Febrile, URI, achy joints
  • Management:
    • Acetaminophen for fever
    • Fluids
    • Keep away from others
    • Watch for signs of pneumonia
  • Acute obstruction and inflammation of the bronchioles.
  • Most common causative agent: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)
  • Bronchioles become narrowed or occluded as a result of inflammatory process, edema, mucus and cellular debris clog alveoli
  • Harsh dry cough
  • Low grade fever
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Wheezing
  • Respiratory distress with apnea
  • Thick mucus
interdisciplinary interventions30
Interdisciplinary Interventions
  • Oxygen to maintain oxygen saturation >than 95%
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Nasal suction as needed
  • Chest percussion to mobilize secretions
  • Inhalation therapy – not sure if it is beneficial
  • Mechanical ventilation as needed if increased work of breathing is seen
    • Increased heart rate, poor peripheral perfusion, apnea, bradycardia and hypercarbia
rsv positive isolation
RSV Positive - Isolation
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus is spread from respiratory secretions through close contact with infected persons or contact with contaminated surfaces or objects.
  • Patient should be on contact and respiratory isolation
  • Can be placed with other RSV + patients
  • An inflammatory condition of the lungs in which alveoli fill with fluid or blood resulting in poor oxygenation and air exchange.
  • Can be primary illness or develop as a complication of another illness.
  • Incidence: 34 to 40 cases per 1000 children younger than 5 years
  • Most likely to develop when the body is unable to defend against infectious agents.
  • High fever
  • Thick green, yellow, or blood tinged secretions
  • Grunting respirations
  • Rales, crackles, diminished breath sounds
  • Cough and cyanosis
  • Diagnostic tests: Infiltrate seen on x-ray
interdisciplinary interventions36
Interdisciplinary Interventions
  • Assess for respiratory distress
  • NPO (respiratory rate > 60 = high risk for aspiration)
  • IV fluids for hydration
  • Supplemental Oxygen to keep oxygen saturation equal to or > 92%
  • Chest percussion
  • Nasal suctioning as needed
  • Acetaminophen for fever
  • Antibiotics – ampicillin and an aminoglycoside (Gentamicin)
pneumonia isolation
Pneumonia Isolation
  • Respiratory isolation
  • May be taken off isolation if RSV negative and on antibiotics for 24 hours.
cystic fibrosis
Cystic Fibrosis
  • Inherited autosomal recessive disorder of the exocrine glands
  • Gene responsible for CF is located on chromosome 7
  • Life span is about 37 years
  • Complex disease requiring a holistic approach
cftr gene
  • Mutation of the CFTR gene disrupts the function of the chloride channels, preventing them from regulating the flow of chloride ions and water across cell membranes. As a result cells that line the passage ways of the lungs, pancreas and other organs produce mucus that is thick and sticky
  • History of Meconium ileus at birth
  • Foul smelling, greasy, bulky stools / constipation
  • Voracious appetite with poor weight gain
  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Persistent chronic cough
  • Salty tasting skin
  • Positive sweat test – Gold standard
  • Genetic marker
  • Pancreatic enzymes to help digest food
  • Inhaled antibiotics – antimicrobial for lung treatment
  • Aerosol bronchodilators to open airways
  • Mucolytic enzyme – to thin mucus
  • H2 blocker – alters gastrointestinal acidic environment
    • Tagamet
  • Prokinetic agents – enhances gastrointestinal motility
    • Reglan
  • Vitamin C to improve absorption of other meds
  • Vitamins E, A, D, K / fat soluble vitamins
  • Oral and IV antibiotics – S. aureus, H. influenzae, P aeruginosa
long term complications
Long Term Complications
  • Nasal polyps
  • Sinusitis
  • Rectal polyps / rectal prolapse
  • Hyperglycemia / diabetes
  • Infertility - male
  • Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease involving recurrent breathing problems.
  • Third leading cause of hospitalization among children younger than 15 years.
  • Most common, chronic health problem in children
  • Reversible changes in airway that lead to bronchoconstriction, airway hyper-responsiveness and airway edema.
  • At the cellular level mast cells release histamine causing smooth muscle contraction and bronchoconstriction.
  • Increased mucous secretion by goblet cells causes epithelial damage
  • Increased mucus secretion results in airway edema, mucus hypersecretion and plugging, airway narrowing, leading to airway obstruction
  • Wheezing
  • Cough
  • Tightness of chest
  • Prolonged expiratory phase
  • Hypoxemia – universal in child with moderate to severe symptoms
  • Hypercarbia – carbon dioxide retention from air trapping in the alveoli and ventilation – perfusion mismatch
  • Monitor blood gases – PaCO2 level more than 50 mm Hg indicated ventilatory failure
  • Diagnostics: chest x-ray = hyper-expansion of lungs
interdisciplinary interventions51
Interdisciplinary Interventions
  • High fowlers position / bed rest
  • Pulse oximetry
  • Nebulized albuterol – beta 2 agonist
  • Chest percussion to mobilize secretions
  • Methylprednisone / Solu-medrol IV
  • IV fluids
  • Oxygen to keep oxygen sats > 95%
home management
Home Management
  • Peak flow spirometer
  • Identify triggers
  • Maximize lung function
  • Optimal physical growth
  • Optimal psycho-social state
  • Maximum participation
peak flow meter
Peak Flow Meter

Peak flow meters are used to measure

PEFR and are designed for monitoring purposes rather than diagnosis of asthma.

home medications
Home Medications
  • Rescue drugs: short acting albuterol beta 2 agonist – used as a quick-relief agent for acute bronchospasm and for prevention of exercise induced bronchospasm.
  • Anti-inflammatory or preventative: low-dose inhaled corticosteroid: inhaled or oral prednisone
  • Allergy: leukotrines such as Singulair
  • Bronchodilators rapidly relax the airway smooth muscle cells, thus reversing the bronchospasm until anti-inflammatory effect of steroids is attained.
    • Aerosols
      • Via mouth piece 3 years and older
      • Via facial mask for less than 3 years
spacer mdi
Spacer mdi pediatrics

Nebulizer pediatrics

  • Steroids reduce the inflammatory component of bronchial obstruction, decrease mucus production and mediator release, as well as the late phase (cellular) inflammatory process.
  • Methyl prednisone IV in severe cases
  • May need histamine H2 receptor antagonists (cimetadine or ranitidine) if experiencing GI upset
  • PO prednisone – always give with food to decrease GI upset
inhaled corticosteroids
Inhaled Corticosteroids
  • Inhaled corticosteroids: Pulmicort, AeroBid, Flovent
    • Infant: mask should fit firmly to prevent cataracts
    • Older child: rinse and spit after treatment to prevent thrush
family teaching
Family Teaching
  • Teach how to use medication
  • When to use and how often
  • No OTC drugs
  • Increase fluid intake
  • Signs and symptoms of respiratory distress
neonate disorders
Neonate Disorders



Pediatric Nursing January/February 1999


It occurs in newborns who are born prematurely and or have a variety of pulmonary disorders and who require ventilatory support with high pressure and oxygen in the first 2 weeks of life.

  • Fibrosis of airways and marked hyperplasia of the bronchial epithelium
  • Increased fluid in the lungs, as a result of disruption of the alveolar-capillary membrane
  • Over distention due to damage to alveolar supporting structures resulting in air trapping
  • Fibrosis, airway edema, and broncho-constriction
bpd assessment
BPD Assessment
  • Persistent respiratory distress
  • Dependent on supplemental oxygen
  • Failure to thrive
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux
  • Pulmonary hypertension
long term outcomes
Long-term Outcomes
  • Oxygen dependent
  • Visual problems
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Developmental delay
  • Learning difficulties
long term management
Long Term Management
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • CPT
  • Bronchodilators
  • Diuretics (pulmonary hypertension)
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Nutritional support: po formula + NG supplement
  • Gastrostomy tube (GER)
  • Bicarbonate in formula due to chronic state of acidosis