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Respiratory System Disorders. HLTAP501A Analyse Health Information. Pneumonia. Types. Aspiration Lobar Bronchial Viral Bacterial - most common Atypical - mycobacterium. Aspiration pneumonia.

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Respiratory system disorders

Respiratory System Disorders


Analyse Health Information


  • Aspiration

  • Lobar

  • Bronchial

  • Viral

  • Bacterial - most common

  • Atypical - mycobacterium

Aspiration pneumonia
Aspiration pneumonia

  • Is an inflammatory condition of the lungs and bronchi caused by the inhalation of food/fluid or vomitus

  • The affects of this type will depend on

    • The substance inhaled

    • The amount

    • The resulting inflammation and/or destruction of lung tissue

Infective pneumonia
Infective pneumonia

  • The body’s defences fail to prevent inhaled or airborne microbes reaching and colonising in the lungs

  • This can be achieved by

    • Inhalation of infective organisms

    • Aspiration of infective organisms from

      • The upper respiratory tract

      • From gastric contents

    • Haematogenous – common in bacteraemia or secondary to UTI


  • Lowered resistance

  • URTI

  • Depression of CNS (head injuries, drugs)

  • Alcohol abuse

  • Cardiac failure

  • Debilitating illness

  • Super-infection in hospitalised patients

  • Exposure to intense cold, dampness

  • Any bronchial obstruction

  • Prolonged immobilisation

  • Pulmonary oedema and congestion

  • Impaired coughing


  • Mouth / skin care

  • Encourage fluids

  • Nurse client sitting upright

  • Encourage cough / physiotherapy

  • Analgesia (pleuritic pain)

  • O2 therapy


  • Natural resistance should be maintained

  • Avoid contact with people with URTIs

  • Obliteration of cough reflex and aspiration should be avoided

  • Highly susceptible people should be immunised

  • Immobilised patients should be turned every two hours and encouraged to deep breath and cough


  • Pleuritis – may lead to pneumothorax, empyema

  • Pleural fibrosis

  • Abscess formation

  • Chronic lung disease – leading to interstitial fibrosis

  • Bronchiectasis (bronchial dilation)

Respiratory system disorders

  • Exemplified by chronic bronchitis and obstructive emphysema and asthma

  • Patients may have a history of:

    • Smoking

    • Dyspnoea, where labored breathing occurs and gets progressively worse

    • Coughing and frequent pulmonary infections

  • People with COPD may develop respiratory failure accompanied by hypoxaemia, carbon dioxide retention, and respiratory acidosis

Asthma and asthma

  • Characterized by shortness of breath, wheezing, and chest tightness

  • Active inflammation of the airways precedes bronchospasm

  • Airway inflammation is an immune response caused by release of IL-4 and IL-5, which stimulate antibodies and recruit inflammatory cells

  • Airways thickened with inflammatory mucus magnify the effect of bronchospasm

Other respiratory diseases
Other Respiratory Diseases and asthma

  • Tuberculosis

    • Infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    • Symptoms include fever, night sweats, weight loss, a racking cough, and splitting headache

    • Treatment entails a 12-month course of antibiotics

Other respiratory diseases1
Other Respiratory Diseases and asthma

  • Lung Cancer

    • Squamous cell carcinoma (20-40% of cases) arises in bronchial epithelium

    • Adenocarcinoma (25-35% of cases) originates in peripheral lung area

    • Small cell carcinoma (20-25% of cases) contains lymphocyte-like cells that originate in the primary bronchi and subsequently metastasize

Incidence and mortality rates national
Incidence and mortality rates: national and asthma

  • Lung cancer is the fifth most common registerable cancer in Australia.

  • Around 8,200 Australians are diagnosed with lung cancer each year.

  • More than 7,000 Australians die from lung cancer each year.

  • One in 33 Australians will develop lung cancer by the age of 75.

Risk factors prevention
Risk factors/Prevention and asthma

  • Smoking is a major cause of lung cancer.

  • Smokers and workers exposed to industrial substances such as asbestos, nickel, chromium compounds, arsenic, polycyclic hydrocarbons and chloromethyl ether have a significantly higher risk of developing lung cancer.

  • Research has also demonstrated a link between passive smoking and lung cancer.

Symptoms and asthma

  • Lung cancer is very difficult to detect at an early stage, some symptoms may include:

    • A new or changing cough, along with hoarseness or shortness of breath or increased shortness of breath during exertion.

    • Recurring episodes of lung infection, weight loss and swelling of the face or arms are also common symptoms.

Treatment and asthma

  • There are a few different types of treatment for lung cancer (with different aims):

    • Surgery - This is used to remove all the cancer in the hope of a cure.

    • Chemotherapy - This is a course of drugs given to kill or control the cancer cells.

    • Radiotherapy - This is a course of x-rays given to kill or control the cancer.

    • Laser treatment - This is used to control the cancer cells. It is used to unblock airways full of tumour, but it does not cure the cancer.

Lung cancer
Lung Cancer and asthma


Pneumothorax and asthma

Is the accumulation of air or gas in the pleural cavity, resulting in the collapse of the lung on the affected side

Haemothorax – blood in pleural cavity

Haemopneumothorax – blood and air in the pleural cavity

Pneumothorax and asthma

Types and asthma

  • Closed

  • Open – sucking wound

  • Tension

Causes and asthma

  • Spontaneous

  • Chest trauma

  • Surgery

  • Central line insertion

  • Positive pressure ventilation

Spontaneous pneumothorax
Spontaneous pneumothorax and asthma

  • May occur in healthy individuals and is often due to a rupture of a sub pleural bleb (often affects tall, thin men between 20-40 yrs)

  • May be a complication of underlying pulmonary disease such as COAD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, TB, pertussis

Clinical manifestations

Sudden sharp chest pain - made worse by deep breath or cough and asthma

Dyspnoea – sudden onset

Chest tightness

Easily fatigued



Unilateral pleuritic pain


Subcutaneous emphysema



Reduced movement on affected side

Open pneumothorax may reveal obvious haemorrhage or foreign body in chest wall

Clinical manifestations

Treatment and asthma

  • If small then it may require no intervention

  • More extensive

    • Insertion of an intercostal catheter (ICC)

    • Connection to underwater seal drainage (UWSD) system

    • Non resolution or reoccurrences may need surgical intervention

Thoracic drainage
Thoracic drainage and asthma

  • This system uses gravity and possibly suction to restore negative pressure and remove any material that collects in the pleural space

    • Air

    • Fluids such as blood, pus, chyle, serous fluid, gastric juices

    • Solids such as blood clots

Thoracic drainage1
Thoracic drainage and asthma

  • This system uses gravity and possibly suction to restore negative pressure and remove any material that collects in the pleural space

    • Air

    • Fluids such as blood, pus, chyle, serous fluid, gastric juices

    • Solids such as blood clots

Thoracic drainage2
Thoracic drainage and asthma

  • Tube placement

  • Is placed in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th intercostal space.

  • The tube is sutured in and has an occlusive dressing applied to prevent air leaks

  • Determined by the substance to be drained

    • Smaller gauge tubes for air

    • Larger gauge tubes for fluids

    • Pneumothorax – usually one tube

    • Haemothorax – usually two tubes

Under water seal drainage
Under water seal drainage and asthma

  • This drainage system allows the removal of accumulated air, fluids or solids from the pleural cavity without allowing air to reenter.

Under water seal drainage system
Under water seal drainage system and asthma

  • This drainage system allows the removal of accumulated air, fluids or solids from the pleural cavity without allowing air to re-enter.

  • A chamber containing water

  • A chamber for collection of fluids or solids

  • May be connected to suction

Nursing care
Nursing care and asthma

  • Patient may be nursed in semi Fowlers position

  • Oxygen and analgesia may be needed

  • Allay anxiety

  • Encourage deep breathing and coughing

  • Patient to splint the affected side when coughing

  • Check respirations – noting chest movement

  • Report increase in respiratory rate or distress, increase in pain or abnormally large increase in drainage to RN Div 1

  • Check dressing daily – maintain asepsis

Nursing care1
Nursing care and asthma

  • Tubing

  • Clamping – to be achieved with two clamps (rubber clipped forceps) above the connection to the UWSD when

    • It is necessary to lift system above the level of the bed

    • Changing the system

  • Observe for

    • Kinks

    • Dependent loops

    • Flattening

    • Loosening of connections

    • Blockage

    • Tube dislodgement

Nursing care2
Nursing care and asthma

  • Drainage system

  • Check the character, consistency and quality of drainage

  • Mark the drainage level – noting time and date (usually done each shift)

  • Check for oscillation (swinging of the fluid in rhythm with the patient’s breathing) may be as much as 5-10cm

  • Check for intermittent bubbling of air (pneumothorax)

  • Ensure suction is maintained at ordered pressure