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Journal Critique on Dyspnea 1


Journal Critique on Dyspnea

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Journal Critique on Dyspnea 2

Journal Critique on Dyspnea

A number of people think that without referring to doctors or hospitals, nurses can help the

patients to remain self-sufficient thus reducing the need for more expensive health services.

They believe that nurses should be given more responsibilities in order to achieve proper

exploitation of all health care workers.

What a Nurse Can Do without Doctor’s Help for a Patient Experiencing Dyspnea

Summary of the Article - Indelicato, R. A.( Posted 02/02/2007) The Advanced Practice

Nurse's Role in Palliative Care and the Management of Dyspnea, Topics in Advanced

Practice Nursing eJournal. 2006; Volume6, Number4 ©2006 Medscape.

Dyspnea is a common symptom reported by patients receiving palliative care. It is a symptom

of severe /chronic pulmonary disease, and is also linked with a wide variety of illnesses such

as cancer, cardiac arrest, and dementia, as well as neurologic disorders like cerebral vascular

accidents, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and AIDS. Due to its subjectivity, the assessment

and management of this distressing symptom can be tricky. This article has highlighted the

basic principles of palliative care and has illustrated the responsibilities of the advanced

practice nurse (APN) specifically in the management of dyspnea.

Nonpharmacologic Treatment in the Management of Dyspnea

There are a number of nonpharmacologic strategies that can be found of assistance in the

management of dyspnea. Some of them are presented below:

APN can make patients sit upright in bed or a chair or the patient may also obtain relief from

sitting on the edge of a bed, resting their upper body on a bedside table. Breathing through

pursed lip helps movement of air out of the lungs and increases airway pressure, thus keeping

the airway open. Breathing slowly decrease respirations, this allows less tiring and more

efficient breathing. A cool, smoke-free and dust-free room with low humidity does well to

dyspnea patients. Open windows or breeze from a fan directed toward a patient's face helps
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decreasing the feeling of breathlessness. The use of durable medical equipment such as a

hospital bed, portable oxygen, walker, wheelchair, bedside table, or bedside commode may

limit exertion, thus decreasing breathlessness. Some techniques that may assist a patient in

coping with the emotional component of dyspnea include progressive muscle relaxation,

guided imagery, and distraction. Acupressure or acupuncture also may provide benefit in the

management of dyspnea.

Pharmacologic Treatment in the Management of Dyspnea

A number of drugs can influence the intensity of dyspnea in patients suffering from cancer

and other life-threatening illnesses. Some may lessen factors that contribute to dyspnea, such

as bronchospasm (bronchodilators), or fluid overload (diuretics). Others may assist provide

symptom relief directly, including opioids, benzodiazepines, phenothiazines, steroids,

methylxanthines, and oxygen therapy.

Personal Views about the Article

The article provide some very in-depth knowledge about dyspnea and the ways a nurse can

handle a patient experiencing breathlessness without the help of a medical practitioner.

Introduction to several nonpharmacologic techniques and appropriate methods of using those

techniques are very well documented in this article. Besides these techniques a few of the

drugs commonly used in dyspnea are also mentioned in the article. In short this brief yet

comprehensive article is a complete handbook for nurses treating breathlessness.
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Indelicato, R. A. (Posted 02/02/2007) The Advanced Practice Nurse's Role in Palliative Care

and the Management of Dyspnea, Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing

eJournal. 2006; Volume6, Number4 ©2006 Medscape. Retrieved October 26, 2008


For further Reading

Gillespie, D. J., and E. J. Olson. "Dyspnea." In Current Diagnosis. Vol. 9. Edited by Rex B.
Conn, et al. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Co., 1997.