Medical Surgical Tonsillitis #3

Question

The emergency department nurse is preparing to care for a febrile diabetic client with a possible peritonsillar abscess. Which lab studies does the nurse anticipate? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. CBC with differential
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a CBC with differential will include a measurement of the white blood cell count. The CBC will indicate how severe the infection is. This will help the provider determine which interventions should take place.

  2. Strep antigen test
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a peritonsillar abscess is a complication of tonsillitis. Most peritonsillar abscesses are caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat. Having this information will help the provider know how the abscess originated.

  3. Throat culture
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a throat culture will reveal which bacteria is responsible for the infection. It will also reveal which antibiotics the bacteria is sensitive and resistant to. This will be the deciding factor of which antibiotic to administer to the client to destroy the infection.

  4. CMP
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a CMP will give the provider information on the body’s current fluid balance, electrolytes, and blood glucose levels. This lab test also includes kidney and liver functioning. The symptoms of peritonsillar abscess can cause the client to become dehydrated and the diabetic client’s glucose levels to be abnormal.

  5. PT/PTT
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because PT/PTT are used to determine the client’s coagulation ability. This test is of low benefit to determine the risk of bleeding with peritonsillar abscess.

Overview

A peritonsillar abscess is bacterial infection that results from tonsillitis or strep throat. It is a pus-filled pocket that develops behind the tonsils. Lab studies will show if there is an infection, what type of infection, and which pathogen has caused the abscess.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

A peritonsillar abscess is bacterial infection that results from tonsillitis or strep throat. It is a pus-filled pocket that develops behind the tonsils. Lab studies will show if there is an infection, what type of infection, and which pathogen has caused the abscess. CBC studies will indicate how severe the infection is. Testing for strep throat will help the provider know how the abscess originated. A throat culture will reveal which bacteria is responsible for the infection and which antibiotics the bacteria is sensitive and resistant to. CMP will give the provider information on the body’s current fluid balance, electrolytes, blood glucose levels, and the kidney and liver functioning.

Test Taking Tip

Have knowledge of lab studies in relation to diagnoses.

Video Rationale