Case Study: Signs & Symptoms of Infection

Case Study: Signs & Symptoms of Infection

Case Study: Signs & Symptoms of Infection

Mr. Locke is a 73-year old male who presents to his doctor’s office with hot reddened skin and itching and swelling on his right leg. He states that he had scratched his leg on a piece of wire while bicycling. He is experiencing intermittent chills and has a temperature of 102.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Pertinent medical history includes diabetes mellitus, type 1. Pus is oozing from the injured area.Case Study: Signs & Symptoms of Infection

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The body’s first line of defense against the infection is the skin, which is a physical barrier covering the external part of the human body (McCance & Huether, 2013). The defense was breached by the trauma caused as a result of the scratch he had on a piece of wire while he was cycling. The signs and symptoms of infection exhibited in Mr. Locke are hot reddened skin, itching and swelling of his leg, pus, fever with a temperature of 102.4 degrees Fahrenheit and intermittent chills. These signs and symptoms are consistent with infection, especially fever which is due to the release of cytokines (McCance & Huether, 2013). The presence of pus is due to the body’s immune response to infection, which in the case of Mr. Locke arose as a result of his injury. Neutrophils are the first responder of leukocytes, and the most present in the blood accumulate at the site of this injury to clear bacteria and other debris that could have arisen in a process called phagocytosis. Due to the short life and its inability to divide, the neutrophils gets destroyed, and as more leukocytes accumulate at the site of the injury, pus develops, dead neutrophils and other necrotic tissues are components of the pus (McCance & Huether, 2013).Case Study: Signs & Symptoms of Infection

The infection could have been prevented if he had reported to the hospital immediately after the scratch. The pus formation could only have arisen after a few days or even a few weeks. His pre-existing condition of diabetes mellitus type 1 could complicate his infection due to dysfunction of his immune system, patients with diabetes due to their hyperglycemic state also have a problem with blood circulation. Mr. Locke’s current condition could be complicated by other factors like his age. Old people are prone to injuries that may not heal quickly which puts them at a risk of infection which is what happened to Mr.Locke. Malnutrition could also complicate Mr. Locke’s condition because nutrients such as zinc, iron, manganese and other minerals are necessary for wound healing, without healing of the wound, infection continues and can possibly spread causing further damage (McCance & Huether, 2013).

References

Huether, S. E. & McCance, K. L. (2013). Understanding Pathophysiology-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.Case Study: Signs & Symptoms of Infection

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