This paper will be divided into two main categories, whereby the first category will outline the characteristics and nature of Ulcerative Colitis. There will be a thorough discussion of what the disease is and what it is not in terms of its similarities and differences to Crohn's disease, as well as according to its prognosis. The second category will highlight the skills of a nurse necessary in managing patients affected by this disorder. In such, there will be a clear definition of the management and care that is justified with rationale and scientific explanation. The second category will also address the case study present. It is the intent of this paper to establish a complete understanding of the disease as well as the medical management aspect that is vital to the kind of care provided to patients.
More than 500,000 Americans suffer each year from ulcerative colitis, Like Crohn's disease; it can be painful and debilitating and sometimes lead to life-threatening complications. This is according to the Mayo Clinic. Thus the case at hand presents Claire O'Brien, a 32 years old female admitted for possible bowel obstruction and passing of watery stools with bright red blood every 2 to hours. Initial diagnosis purports ulcerative colitis thus prompting the patient for immediate surgery, undergoing colon resection and formation of the colostomy. She is wheeled in to the ward under my care with an Intravenous Line, and has been ordered for a nasogastric tube insertion. Thus a question is raised at this point, what then is Ulcerative Colitis, and how does this disorder affect a person The answer lies in the discussion of the pathophysiology of this disease with emphasis to its etymology, symptoms and prognosis.
Ulcerative Colitis is a non-specific inflammatory condition of the colon, a disease that begins often between the ages 20 and 25 years of age but may affect both young and old alike (Cotran, ET al.p776.1999). This tends to have flare-ups that later settles down again for variable amounts of time, yet it is possible to have a single attack. This disease usually begins in the rectum and spreads proximally, affecting primarily the mucosal layer, although it can extend into the lower submucosal layer. The length of proximal extension varies and may involve the rectum alone, thus called ulcerative proctitis, the rectum and sigmoid colon thus called proctosigmoiditis, or the entire colon otherwise known as pancolitis. The inflammatory process tends to be confluent and continuous instead of skipping areas, as it does in Crohn's disease. But unlike Crohn's disease that affects various sites in the gastrointestinal tract, Ulcerative Colitis is confined to the rectum and the colon. Both illnesses though do have one strong feature in common. They are marked with an abnormal response by the body's immune system. The immune system is composed of various cells and proteins that protect the body from infection. With inflammatory bowel disease the immune system react inappropriately mistaking food, bacteria and other materials in the intestine for a foreign invading substance and thus