Medical Surgical Pernicious anemia #3

Question

The nurse is preparing for a client diagnosed with pernicious anemia. Which might she observe from the client? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. Fatigue
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because fatigue is a symptom of anemia. When the body is low on red blood cells, it has to work harder to get oxygen to the cells. This results in fatigue.

  2. Severe pallor
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because severe pallor is caused by the body not getting enough hemoglobin and oxygen, leading to pale skin. The red blood cells are so low, not enough reach the skin’s surface. Someone with pernicious anemia is low in vitamin B12, which is responsible for the production of red blood cells.

  3. Paresthesias
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because vitamin B12 helps maintain nerve health. It does this by assisting in production and maintaining myelin to protect the nerves. When there is a deficiency in B12, the nerves can become damaged, which can cause numbness in hands and feet.

  4. Petechiae
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because petechia is when capillaries bleed underneath the skin due from straining, infection, or low platelet counts. Petechia is not seen with pernicious anemia, but can be seen with aplastic anemia.

  5. Ataxic gait
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because ataxic gait is caused by nerve damage related to vitamin B12 deficiency. Ataxic gait is an unsteady, clumsy gait usually due to peripheral neuropathy. B12 assists in the production and maintenance of myelin for healthy nerve function.

Overview

Pernicious anemia involves a vitamin B12 deficiency due to lack of intrinsic factor (IF). B12 helps synthesize and maintain myelin for proper nerve function, as well as makes red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Pernicious anemia involves a vitamin B12 deficiency due to lack of intrinsic factor (IF). B12 helps synthesize and maintain myelin for proper nerve function, as well as makes red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. When there is a deficiency in B12, the nerves can become damaged, which can cause numbness in hands and feet. When the body is low on red blood cells, it has to work harder to get oxygen to the cells. This results in fatigue. When there is a decrease in red blood cells, pallor is the outcome. The peripheral neuropathy that follows vitamin B12 deficiency can cause an unsteady, staggering gait. This is referred to as an ataxic gait.

Test Taking Tip

Be familiar with the symptoms related to pernicious anemia.

Video Rationale