Anemia - Nursing Interventions for Risk for Infection

Anemia is a decrease in number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood.

There are more than 400 types of anemia, which are divided into three groups:
  • Anemia caused by blood loss
  • Anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production
  • Anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells
Symptoms that may occur first include:
  • Feeling grumpy
  • Feeling weak or tired more often than usual, or with exercise
  • Headaches
  • Problems concentrating or thinking

If the anemia gets worse, symptoms may include:
  • Blue color to the whites of the eyes
  • Brittle nails
  • Light-headedness when you stand up
  • Pale skin color
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore tongue

Treatment should be directed at the cause of the anemia, and may include:
  • Blood transfusions
  • Corticosteroids or other medicines that suppress the immune system
  • Erythropoietin, a medicine that helps your bone marrow make more blood cells
  • Supplements of iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, or other vitamins and minerals

Nursing Diagnosis for Anemia : Risk for Infection related to an inadequate secondary defenses (decreased hemoglobin, leukopenia, or a decrease in granulocytes (inflammatory response depressed).

Goal: Infection does not occur.

Expected outcomes:
  • identify behaviors to prevent / reduce the risk of infection.
  • improve wound healing, free purulent drainage or erythema, and fever.

Nursing Interventions for Risk for Infection - Anemia :

1. Increase good hand washing; by the care givers and patients.
Rational: to prevent cross contamination / bacterial colonization. Note: patients with severe anemia / aplastic be at risk due to the normal flora of the skin.

2. Maintain strict aseptic technique on the procedure / treatment of wounds.
Rational: to reduce the risk of colonization / infection of bacteria.

3. Give skin care, perianal, and oral carefully.
Rational: reducing the risk of damage to the skin / tissue and infection.

4. Motivation changes in position / ambulation often, coughing and deep breathing exercises.
Rationale: increased pulmonary ventilation all segments and help mobilize secretions to prevent pneumonia.

5. Increase fluid intake adequate.
Rational: to assist in the dilution secret breathing, to ease spending and prevent stasis of body fluids such as respiratory and kidney.

6. Monitor / limit visitors. Give isolation room whenever possible.
Rational: limiting exposure to bacteria / infection. Protection in isolation required in aplastic anemia, when the immune response is very disturbed.

7. Monitor body temperature. Note the chills and tachycardia with or without fever.
Rational: the process of inflammation / infection require evaluation / treatment.

8. Observe erythema / wound fluid.
Rational: indicators of local infection.
Note: the formation of pus may not exist when granulocytes depressed.

9. Take a specimen for culture / sensitivity as indicated (collaboration)
Rational: to distinguish the presence of infection, identify specific pathogens and influence the choice of treatment.

10. Leave a topical antiseptic; systemic antibiotics (collaboration).
Rational: may be used to reduce colonization or prophylactic treatment for localized infection process.

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