Rheumatic fever is caused due to streptococcal infection following a strep throat. People, who have rheumatic fever, need careful nursing care and rest, and invariably this can be for many months.
Nursing care for rheumatic fever is very specialized as patients suffering from this disease need a lot of care so that damage to heart, brain and other parts of the body are minimized or prevented. The main goals of nursing care for rheumatic fever should be to treat the streptococcal infection, preventing re-infection and helping the patient get relief from the symptoms.
Nurses who are administering nursing care for rheumatic fever should ensure that the patient takes mild dose of penicillin as this the antibiotic usually used to treat the streptococcal infection. In addition, patients should be given anti-inflammatory drugs to help the fever and the pain. If there is heart damage or pancarditis, then prednisone should be given along with ample bed rest.Nursing care for rheumatic fever include moving the patient carefully so that pain in the joints and other parts of the body are minimal, giving the patient frequent feeds so that he builds up his strength and stamina, ensuring that the patient maintains good dental and oral hygiene, making sure that the patient is not stressed out or anxious as this can increase chorea (uncontrolled movement of the limbs and face), monitoring the heart beat and pulse to see if there is any dysrhythmia, and ensuring that the patient takes regular antibiotics so that rheumatic fever does not develop again after it has subsided.
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