Real-Life Challenge: Acute Bronchitis
A 39-year-old woman is experiencing a deep cough that produces thick, yellow sputum. She is complaining of shortness of breath and pain in the upper chest. Audible wheezing is heard without a stethoscope. Vital signs are temperature, 100.28° F; pulse, 102; respirations, 32; and blood pressure, 134/88. Auscultation of the chest confirms the presence of bilateral wheezing and scattered rales. The patient has a history of an URI 2 weeks before the onset of coughing 3 days ago. Her husband is a cigarette smoker. Diagnostic studies ordered include chest radiographs, pulmonary studies, sputum analysis, CBC, and ESR. The patient is diagnosed with acute bacterial bronchitis.
1. Why would it be safe for the patient to take aspirin for control of the fever?
2. Why would increased fluid intake be recommended?
3. Which treatment would be recommended to relieve the wheezing?
4. Which treatment would be recommended to relieve the coughing?
5. Compare the symptoms and signs of chronic bronchitis with those of acute bronchitis.
6. Compare the etiology of chronic versus acute bronchitis.
7. How significant is the exposure to primary or secondary smoke to both acute and chronic bronchitis patients?
8. What is this patient’s risk for developing chronic bronchitis?