In this blog post, we’ll unpack a question that nursing students and practicing nurses alike are often asked: what severe complication should the nurse assess for? We’ll examine two potential answers to this question. First, we’ll look at why it’s important to be able to answer questions like these, as well as how you might go about assessing for them.

Next up will be a quick discussion of why pneumonia is not an appropriate answer, but sepsis is.

What severe complication should the nurse assess for?

Beware of Deception by Pneumonia in Sepsis Patients: In our first scenario, let’s say there are some patients who have been diagnosed with both sepsis and pneumonia in their lungs. In this case, the nurse should assess for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). ARDS is a complication of pneumonia and sepsis. It’s characterized by difficulty breathing due to severe lung injury that can lead to death in some cases.

This condition will require referral to an emergency department or intensive care unit for treatment if it becomes worse. Investigate Sepsis vs Pneumonia Complication.

 What about our second scenario?

If there are patients with both sepsis and pneumonia who have not been diagnosed with ARDS, then what would be appropriate? Well, first off – you need to identify whether they’re exhibiting any symptoms of either disease. That means fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, shaking chills, rapid heart rate.


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