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Emphysema

Concerning emphysema, I need to describe the diagnostic techniques (techniques commonly used in making the diagnosis and the typical results), the differential diagnosis (other diagnoses which are similar in signs, symptoms, or diagnostic results), medical management (treatment of this condition that will commonly occur and not included in the physical therapy plan of care or goals), preventative measures (activities which might lessen the occurrence or magnitude of the symptoms).

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1. I need to describe the diagnostic techniques (techniques commonly used in making the diagnosis and the typical results), the differential diagnosis (other diagnoses which are similar in signs, symptoms, or diagnostic results), medical management (treatment of this condition that will commonly occur and not included in the physical therapy plan of cae or goals), preventative measures (activities which might lessen the occurrence or magnitude of the symptoms).

Emphysema is "a long-term, progressive disease of the lung that primarily causes shortness of breath. The lung tissues necessary to support the physical shape and function of the lung are destroyed. It is included in a group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD (pulmonary refers to the lungs). Emphysema is referred to as an obstructive lung disease because the destruction of lung tissue around smaller airways (bronchioles) makes these airways unable to hold their shape properly when you exhale." (http://www.emedicinehealth.com/emphysema/article_em.htm)

Diagnosis

Emphysema is diagnosed based on the patient's symptoms, and a physical examination will be performed. Initially, the doctor will pay particular attention to the patient's breathing sounds, heart sounds, and general physical appearance. A number of tests may be ordered or performed in the office or in the Emergency Department in ruling in or out the diagnosis of emphysema. These tests serve to diagnose and clarify the extent of the disease, the remaining lung function, and the presence of lung infections.

? A chest x-ray helps the doctor to identify changes in your lung that may indicate emphysema. The x-ray also may show the presence of an infection or a mass in the lung (such as a tumor) that could explain your symptoms. Shortness of breath has many causes. The chest x-ray is considered by most doctors to be the quickest and easiest test to begin to separate the different possible causes and formulate a diagnosis.

? Spirometry and other pulmonary function tests (PFTs). These noninvasive tests can detect emphysema before you have symptoms. These tests involve breathing into a tube that is connected to a computer or some other monitoring device, which can record the necessary information. They measure how much air your lungs can hold and the flow of air in and out of your lungs and how much reserve capacity the lungs have for increased demand, such as during exercise. They can also measure how well your lungs deliver oxygen to your bloodstream. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/emphysema/DS00296/DSECTION=tests-and-diagnosis)

? Blood Tests. With a family history of alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, the doctor may wish to send a blood test to evaluate for this genetic disease.Blood tests may also be used to check your white blood cell count, which can sometimes indicate an acute infection. This information can be used with the chest x-ray to evaluate for pneumonia, bronchitis, or other respiratory infections that can make emphysema worse. Another blood test that may be helpful, especially in the hospital setting, is called the arterial blood gas. This ...

Solution Summary

Discusses emphysema in terms of diagnosis techniques, differential diagnosis, medical management and preventive measures.

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