Cystic Fibrosis Case Study

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1. At a clinical level, describe the symptoms that are commonly present by CF patients? Cystic Fibrosis (CF) affects many organs in the body accounting for it variety of symptoms exhibited. However, there are common ones that present themselves during the first 12 months of a child’s life (Netdoctor) One of the very first signs is the failure to pass the Meconium. Moreover this blocks the gut and it is usually much thicker than in a non-CF baby. This condition is known as Meconium Ileus, and accounts for one in five diagnosis (Eggermont and De Boeck 1991). During the proceeding month, suspicion may be alerted when the child fails to put weight on despite normal feeding. The child is suffering from malnutrition from failure to absorbed vitamins A, D, E and K (Cohn et al, 1998) Vitamin D is needed for the absorption of calcium, which is fundamental in the prevention of osteoporosis. Due to this, CF children are more susceptible to fractures. Clubbing of the fingers and toes is also a common symptom of CF (Haworth et al, 1999). Furthermore, because the pancreas produces insufficient enzymes to digest fat, it passes straight through the gut resulting oily, smelly faeces containing the excess fat (Bupa). Constipation is also a problem, due to hardened faeces causing intestinal blockages; this is seen more often in older children (Khoshoo and Udall, 1994). In the air passages of healthy lungs, mucus constantly flows over the surfaces removing debris and bacteria. In a child with CF, this mucus is sticky, and cannot remove the debris and bacteria. Furthermore, the mucus provides an ideal breeding ground for the bacteria (Bupa). As the bacteria cannot be removed, persistent pulmonary infections are common. Other common symptoms here are, excess production of sputum, wheezing, shortness of breath (Netdoctor), chronic sinusitis (Ramsey and

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