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Lesson 49. Gastritis/Gastroenteritis


a. Acute gastritis is the irritation and inflammation of the stomach's mucous lining. Gastritis may be caused by a chemical, thermal, or bacterial insult. For example, drugs such as alcohol, aspirin, and chemotherapeutic agents may cause an attack of gastritis. Likewise, hot, spicy, rough, or contaminated foods may bring about an attack. Management involves symptomatic treatment measures after removal of the causative agent.

b. Gastroenteritis, or inflammation of the stomach and intestines, is generally caused by bacteria and viruses. Other causes include parasites, food allergens, drug reactions to antibiotics, and ingestion of toxic plants. Treatment is the same as for gastritis, with the addition of anti-microbial drugs for severe cases.

c. Signs and symptoms of both include pain, cramping, belching, nausea, and vomiting. Severe cases may include hematemesis. Diarrhea may occur with gastroenteritis.

d. Nursing implications.

(1) Stop all P.O. intakes until symptoms subside.
(2) Assess the patient's symptoms and administer the prescribed symptomatic relief medications such as antacids and antiemetics.
(3) Monitor intake and output closely. Excessive vomiting or diarrhea may result in severe electrolyte depletion that will require replacement therapy.
(4) Administer and monitor IV therapy when ordered to replace lost fluids.
(5) Weigh daily to monitor weight loss.
(6) Encourage the prescribed diet to maintain nutrition.

David L. Heiserman, Editor
Publisher: SweetHaven Publishing Services

Copyright 2006, SweetHaven Publishing Services
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