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Hyperkalemia – Elevated serum potassium level

  • Potassium levels of more than 5 mEq/L in the blood are diagnostic of hyperkalemia
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COPD (Reading & Sharing)

COPD is or chronic obstructive airway disease is actually an umbrella term for a group of diseases that cause airway blockage and breathing problems in general. According to Higginson and Parry (2018), “COPD is a progressive obstructive lung disease that adversely affects the patient’s ability to both breathe and exchange gases between the alveoli and circulation due to loss of lung tissue” (p. 12). Those diseases included are emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma. According to the CDC, almost 15.7 million Americans or 6.4% reported having COPD (CDC, 2018). The rate of COPD was higher in people aged 65 and older, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, current or former smokers, and those with a history of asthma (CDC, 2018).

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Atopic dermatitis (Reading & Sharing)

Atopic dermatitis is a common inflammatory skin disease that mostly occurs in children and E (IgE) is secreted in response to environmental or food allergens. Typically dermatitis and eczema are used interchangeably when the patient has an acute flare-up. The condition is non-contagious and is characterized by dry, itchy skin, but in chronic or severe cases it can cause thick plaques, slightly raised, watery exudate to form or become infected which can affect the patient’s quality of life. So, therefore, because eczema is a common skin disorder seen in primary care the discussion will include the incidence, prevalence of the disease and pathophysiology from the primary provider perspective. As well as the physical assessment and exam, treatment plan, patient education, follow up and evaluation.

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Cough (Reading and Sharing)

A cough is the natural reflex response of the body to clear the airways, to the stimuli that may irritate the respiratory system, which consists mainly the nasopharynx, larynx, trachea, and large bronchi. It is acute when it is less than 3 weeks, and chronic if beyond 8 weeks.  Cough can also be generated by issues in the upper and lower airways, psychological issues, cardiovascular system pathophysiologic disturbances, and the side effects of certain medications like the ACE inhibitors. Cough is the fifth most common symptom that prompts the patients to see their health care provider in the primary care setting (Rhoads & Jensen, 2015). Mainly, the pathogenic triad of cough, that is responsible for 92% to 100% of cough, is due to upper airway cough syndrome which is commonly known as post nasal drip syndrome; asthma, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The other associated signs and symptoms of cough are: fatigue, rhinitis, epistaxis, tickle in the throat, pharyngitis, night sweats, dyspnea, fever, sputum production, hoarseness and post nasal drip.  As cough interferes with the activities of daily living and sleeping, there is a decrease in quality of life (QOL).  Therefore, patients seek treatment in the health care settings (Cash & Glass, 2017).

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Differential Diagnosis: Interstitial Cystitis, Urethritis, and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease

  • Interstitial cystitis (painful bladder syndrome), due to pain associated with bladder filling as well as urinary urgency and frequency. Urethritis due to typical symptoms of urinary tract infection (UTI) such as frequency and dysuria. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) due to abdominal or suprapubic pain.

On physical examination of a patient with a urinary tract infection, you may notice fevers, pelvic pain or tenderness on palpation, costovertebral angle tenderness (CVA) if pyelonephritis is considered, pain on urination, burning on urination, back pain or hematuria.  Patients may also present with shaking and chills, nausea, and vomiting (Ferri, 2018).

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