Week 7: Hematological System

Often in the medical field, an emphasis is placed on the importance of the heart and the lungs. While these two organs are vital to the sustainability of life, the blood is what makes the cardiovascular and respiratory systems function—it’s the connection for the heart and lungs. For this reason, disorders of the hematological system can be potentially devastating for patients. Consider the case of Connie Prochnow. Connie was diagnosed with leukemia after seeking medical care for bruising, shortness of breath, and exhaustion. Her blood disorder resulted in alterations that impacted other body systems, including her respiratory system (UW Health, 2012). Since the heart and the lungs rely so heavily on the blood, it is important that hematological disorders are quickly identified and managed.

This week, as you focus on hematological disorders commonly presented to advanced practice nurses, you examine the pathophysiology of anemia. You also explore the impact of patient factors on anemic disorders.

Reference
Prochnow, C. (n.d.). Restoring hope: A cancer patient shares her story. Retrieved September 11, 2012, from http://www.uwhealth.org/uw-carbone-cancer-center/restoring-hope-a-cancer-patient-shares-her-story/20371

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the pathophysiology of anemia
  • Compare the pathophysiology of iron deficiency anemia to the pathophysiology of other types of anemia
  • Evaluate the impact of patient factors on anemic disorders
  • Understand and apply key terms, concepts, and principles related to alterations of the hematological system

Photo Credit: JPC-PROD/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty images

Learning Resources

Required Readings

Huether, S. E., & McCance, K. L. (2012). Understanding pathophysiology (Laureate custom ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.

 

  • Chapter 19, “Structure and Function of the Hematologic System”

 

This chapter examines components of the hematologic system, development of blood cells, mechanisms of hemostasis, and hematologic value changes in pediatrics and geriatrics. It also focuses on common blood tests for hematologic disorders.

 

  • Chapter 20, “Alterations of Hematologic Function”

 

This chapter focuses on common alterations of hematologic function, including alterations of erythrocyte function, leukocyte function, lymphoid function, splenic function, platelets, and coagulation.

 

  • Chapter 21, “Alterations of Hematologic Function in Children”

 

This chapter expands on alterations of hematologic function by presenting disorders that affect children, such as disorders of erythrocytes, coagulation, and platelets.

McPhee, S. J., & Hammer, G. D. (2010). Pathophysiology of disease: An introduction to clinical medicine (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Medical.

 

  • Chapter 6, “Blood Disorders”

 

This chapter begins by exploring the anatomy and physiology of blood and the coagulation system. It then examines two types of anemia caused by red cell disorders. White blood cell disorders and platelet disorders are also examined.

Optional Resources

American Sickle Cell Anemia Association. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.ascaa.org/

 

Discussion: Anemia

In clinical settings, advanced practice nurses often encounter patients with blood disorders such as anemia. Consider the case of a 17-year-old girl who is rushed to the emergency room after suddenly fainting. The girl’s mother reports that her daughter has had difficulty concentrating for the past week, frequently becomes dizzy, and has not been eating normally due to digestion problems. The mother also informs the nurse that their family has a history of anemia. With the family history of anemia, it appears that this is the likely diagnosis. However, in order to properly diagnose and treat the patient, not only must her symptoms and family history be considered, but also factors such as gender, ethnicity, age, and behavior. This poses the question: How do patient factors impact the incidence and prevalence of different types of anemia?

To Prepare

  • Review Chapter 20 in the Huether and McCance text. Reflect on the pathophysiological mechanisms of iron deficiency anemia.
  • Select one of the following types of anemia: pernicious anemia, folate deficiency anemia, sideroblastic anemia, chronic inflammation anemia, or post-hemorrhagic anemia. Identify the pathophysiological mechanisms of the anemia you selected.
  • Consider the similarities and differences between iron deficiency anemia and the type of anemia you selected.
  • Reflect on how patient factors such as genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, and behavior might impact these anemic disorders.

By Day 3

Post an explanation of the pathophysiological mechanisms of iron deficiency anemia and the anemia you selected. Compare these two types of anemia, as well as their potential causes. Finally, explain how genetics, gender, ethnicity, age, and behavior might impact the anemic disorders you selected.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.