Health Assessment

Patient Situation

Fredrick is a 63 years old male who presented with unstable vital signs compared to the readings in the previous days. The change in the vital signs could be due to the environmental effects since in the case study, we find that Frederick was exercising in form of swimming in a cold environment. Frederick recorded a pulse rate(PR) of 102 beats per minute, temperatures 35 degrees, respiratory rate (RR) 24 breaths per minute, blood pressure(BP) of 150/84 mmHg.

Cue Collection of Fredrick

Fredrick has presented with unstable vital signs after the swimming session. The blood pressure is increased, the respiratory rates are also raised, the pulse rates are high for him while the temperatures recorded are also a bit low when compared to the normal limits. The changed vital signs are due to the response of the body to the cold environment.

Processing Information of Fredrick

Regarding the condition of Fredrick, the cues collected may be classified into those that are normal and those that are abnormal. The blood pressure presented at 150/84 which is slightly increased compared to the normal range which is 120/80. From the case study, we find that in the previous two results, the blood pressures were within the normal range. The pulse rates of Fredrick are is increased presenting at 102 beats per minute and the normal range should be 60 to 100. Looking at the respiratory rates, Fredrick demonstrated 24 beats per minute which when compared to the normal range, the vital sign was also high. The temperatures on the hand are also reduced meaning the individual maybe was encountering some cold. The comparison of the current situation of Frederick and that of the previous health information are totally different. In the previous health information, the vital signs were all within the correct limits and no vital sign exceeded or came below the required.

The conditions in both internal and external surroundings are always variable and while the body cannot regulate the factors in the external environment, it can control the internal environment (Nagler et al. 2015). The internal environment can be regulated through the formation of the right responses to the alterations in all variables. The homeostatic mechanism helps in the maintenance of variables of the body within the required levels and making sure that the cells are able to survive and do their functions well.

The body has to counteract change through the homeostasis for instance when it is cold, there is the negative feedback mechanism released (Morisson & Nakamura, 2019). In our case study, Frederick’s body counteracted the change in temperatures through the contraction of muscles with the aim of producing heat and therefore he got warm through shivering process. Swimming is a form of exercise and due to the cold temperatures, the blood vessels are constricted so as to reduce the amounts of heat released from the body. The vasoconstricition causes an increase on the blood pressure which makes the heart to beat faster hence increase in the respiratory rates. The process explains the unstable vital signs that Frederick was presenting with after the swimming sessions. The increase in the blood flow also has an effect on the pulse rates which in turn also increase.

Further Cue Collection

There are other cues that should be collected after checking the vital signs of Frederick. Blood glucose evaluation is necessary in our case study since the cold surroundings may affect the body metabolism and therefore increase the glycolysis. During exercise, the utilization of glycogen is increased in cold tan the temperate conditions (Senaris et al, 2018). The reason why the glycolysis is increased is because of the active muscle contractions in the cold temperatures. The muscles usually contract to creates shivering which helps in the generation of some body heat to suit the external conditions. The blood glucose, the storage of glycogen in muscles are a source of carbohydrates to be used during the shivering thermogenesis. Low levels of blood glucose mean that there could be induction of hypoglycemia and one may feel some headaches and even could faint due to low blood glucose. It is therefore necessary that the blood glucose of Frederick is regularly for the purposes and maintenance of homeostasis mechanisms.

The other cue that should be collected is the level of consciousness of the patient. As a student nurse, I will ensure that I am assessing the consciousness of Frederick during the cold period (Cani et al. 2019). The importance of checking consciousness levels is to ensure that there is the maintenance of the good functioning of the nervous system. There may be neurological malfunction may be affected by the blood flow and other heat related changes. For example, the increase in the flow of blood in the body may cause some destruction of the neurones of the brain which will mean that the brain does not function normally. Lack of proper functioning of the brain could lead to other serious cases such as stroke, weakness and oedema. Good neurologic function is essential in keeping the memory of the patient. In our case study, it is therefore important that the consciousness of Frederick is regularly checked to maintain the body functions as required.

Checking for the amounts of water in the body is necessary because in cold weather, a person tends to loose water through perspiration and metabolism causing dehydration (Ecelbarger et al. 2016). In our case study, it is necessary that Frederick is assessed for levels of water since the shivering process uses some energy and water which requires topping up. The cold weather may make is hard to determine whether one is thirsty or not and this makes it necessary to check for any dehydration signs to prevent harmful effects.

References for Health Assessment

Cani, P. D., Van Hul, M., Lefort, C., Depommier, C., Rastelli, M., & Everard, A. (2019). Microbial regulation of organismal energy homeostasis. Nature Metabolism, 1(1), 34-46.

Ecelbarger, C.M., Chaudhary, D.K., Lee, H. and Tiwari, S., 2016, November. Molecular Mechanisms of Body Water Homeostasis. In Colloquium Series on Integrated Systems Physiology: From Molecule to Function to Disease (Vol. 8, No. 4, pp. i-100). Morgan & Claypool Life Science

Morrison, S. F., & Nakamura, K. (2019). Central mechanisms for thermoregulation. Annual review of physiology, 81, 285-308.

Nagler, M., Nukarinen, E., Weckwerth, W. and Nägele, T., 2015. Integrative molecular profiling indicates a central role of transitory starch breakdown in establishing a stable C/N homeostasis during cold acclimation in two natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana. BMC plant biology, 15(1), p.284.

Señarís, R., Ordás, P., Reimúndez, A., & Viana, F. (2018). Mammalian cold TRP channels: impact on thermoregulation and energy homeostasis. Pflügers Archiv-European Journal of Physiology, 470(5), 761-777.

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