Medical Surgical Guillain-Barre Syndrom GBS #4

Question

A client with Guillain-Barre syndrome will be receiving immunoglobulin therapy (IVIG) and questions the nurse about the purpose of the treatment. Which statement by the nurse is correct?

Answers

  1. “The liquid portion of part of your blood called plasma, is removed and replaced with healthy plasma to remove the antibodies that are harming your immune system.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct since removing plasma from the blood and then replacing it is called plasmapheresis. Plasmapheresis is used in clients with GBS and myasthenia gravis to remove the harmful antibodies from the blood that are invading their mmune system.

  2. “Donated blood plasma that contains certain antibodies is given to provide your body with the antibiotics needed to fight infection.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because IVIG uses healthy blood plasma donated to put inside the client who needs those healthy antibodies. When you have GBS, the immune system produces dangerous antibodies that attack the nerves. IVIG therapy provides the client’s blood with the appropriate antibodies needed to combat those dangerous antibodies.

  3. “Intravenous corticosteroid treatment is administered to reduce nerve inflammation associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because intravenous corticosteroid treatments have not been found to be clinically beneficial for those suffering with GBS. This type of treatment is used for multiple sclerosis to reduce nerve inflammation.

  4. “Intravenous injection of synthetically made proteins that perform like human antibodies to fight off harmful antigens.”
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because synthetically made proteins are called monoclonal antibodies. They are cloned in a lab from white blood cells to help the body battle antigens that prove harmful to the body.

Overview

Immunoglobulin therapy is blood plasma donated by healthy donors given intravenously to provide the body with the antibodies needed to fight infection. High doses of immunoglobulin can impede the injurious antibodies that present with GBS.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Immunoglobulin therapy is blood plasma donated by healthy donors given intravenously to provide the body with the antibodies needed to fight infection. High doses of immunoglobulin can impede the injurious antibodies that present with GBS. With GBS, the immune system produces dangerous antibodies that attack the nerves. IVIG therapy provides the client’s blood with the appropriate antibodies needed to combat those dangerous antibodies. Plasmapheresis is also used as an effective therapeutic option for GBS. Intravenous corticosteroid treatment is not helpful since nerve inflammation does not accompany GBS. Monoclonal antibodies studies involving GBS clients have been conducted, but the current recommended therapy is IVIG or plasmapheresis.

Test Taking Tip

Understand the differences between IVIG and plasmapheresis and their relationship to GBS.

Video Rationale