Patho Patho #56
The nurse is caring for a client with aspiration pneumonia. What is the worst potential complication for this client?
- 1. Respiratory failure.
This answer is correct because respiratory failure is the worst potential complication of any type of pneumonia.
- 2. Fever.
This answer choice is not correct because fever is an expected finding associated with any infectious process and therefore not the most critical potential complication of pneumonia.
- 3. Sepsis.
This answer choice is not correct because, although sepsis is a serious potential complication of pneumonia, respiratory failure is the more critical as it poses a threat to the client’s airway.
- 4. Decreased cardiac output.
This answer choice is not correct because although decreased cardiac output may occur as a result of other complications, it is not directly associated with aspiration pneumonia. Respiratory failure is more critical than decreased cardiac output as it threatens the clients airway.
The focus of this question is asking the nurse to identify the most critical potential complication for a client with a diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection of the alveoli causing inflammation and consolidation of fluid within the affected area of the lung(s). Clients with pneumonia are at risk for respiratory acidosis due to the buildup of CO2 which could lead to respiratory failure.
Aspiration pneumonia occurs when a client aspirates contents into the lungs. Pneumonia leads to inflammation, infection, and consolidation of fluid within the lower airways. This prevents adequate gas exchange which could ultimately lead to acute respiratory failure which is the most critical potential complication of pneumonia.
Test Taking Tip