Chapter 21: Caring for Clients with Lower Respiratory Disorders
Mary Jones, 64-years-old, enters the hospital with the following symptoms; shortness of breath,
chest pain with inspiration, fever, blood streaked sputum, and tachycardia. Mary has had the
symptoms for 2 days, and they are worsening. Mary states she has been exposed recently to
several people with the “sniffles” while on an airplane traveling for a family reunion several
After Mary has been seen by the physician, she has been ordered to have a chest x-ray and an
arterial blood gas assessment completed. The doctor writes in the progress notes that he is
concerned about a possible pulmonary embolus or pneumonia. (Learning Objectives: 2, 6)
1. What nursing assessments are most important for a client with a suspected infectious disorder
of the lower respiratory airway?
2. What are the risk factors for the development of a pulmonary embolism?