Acute Pancreatitis Essay

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The pancreas is an organ located behind the stomach that produces chemicals called enzymes, as well as the hormones insulin and glucagon. These enzymes are usually only active after they reach the small intestine, where they are needed to digest food. When they somehow become active inside the pancreas, they digest pancreatic tissue causing swelling, bleeding and damage to blood vessels. Acute pancreatitis affects men more often than women. Certain diseases, surgeries, and habits make one more likely to develop this condition. As is suspected in this client, acute pancreatitis is most often caused by alcohol abuse. (Bare, B.; Cheever, K.; Hinkle, J.; Smelter, S., 2008). Symptoms of pancreatitis include abdominal pain felt in the upper left quadrant. This pain may become worse within minutes after eating or drinking, especially high fat foods. It may become constant and more severe, lasting for several days and may worsen when lying flat. The client with acute pancreatitis may appear ill with fever, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Treatment often requires a stay in the hospital and may involve pain medication, IV Fluids, maintaining NPO status, to limit the activity of the pancreas and on occasion an NG tube to remove stomach contents. In some cases gallstones may be removed to relieve blockage of the pancreatic duct. In the most severe cases, surgery is needed to remove dead or infected pancreatic tissue. Complications from acute pancreatitis include acute kidney failure, ARDS, ascites, Cysts or abscesses in the pancreas, and heart failure. Repeat episodes can lead to chronic pancreatitis. References Bare, B.G., Cheever, K.H., Hinkle, J.L., & Smeltzer, S.C. (2008). Brunner & suddarth's text book of medical-surgical nursing: 11th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Owyang C. Pancreatitis. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds.

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