Respiratory Alterations essay sample

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Respiratory Alterations

Based on the symptoms presented, Maria is suffering from acute tracheobronchitis. This disorder was caused by the influenza virus (Haemophilus influenza); this explains why she has a persistent cold for three weeks. The underlying respiratory alteration associated with the type of cough is as a result of an inflammation of the mucus membranes of the trachea and bronchial tree; thus signifying an infection of the respiratory tract (McPhee & Hammer, 2010).

Based on Maria’s viral infection, she is prone to have a decreased resistance and can readily develop a secondary bacterial infection, thus, the green sputum denotes the secondary bacterial infection.


Cells of the bronchial lining tissue may undergo bronchial irritation. This irritation may be as a result of inhalation of chemical irritants, gases, physical irritants, and other air contaminants. This makes the mucus membrane hyperemic as well as edematous.

Once the lower airway is infected, the inflamed mucus membrane of the bronchial tree produces mucopurulent sputum; which characterizes a cough. Chronic tracheobronchitis is associated with an intense copious secretion of mucus (Huether & McCance, 2012). Thus, a continual cough is characterized by the thickening of the bronchial lining and narrowing of the airways to a point that breathing becomes difficult. Accumulation of mucus in the airway leads to the cilia not performing their function, thus the bronchial passages become vulnerable to further infection and tissue damage.

From the case study, this explains the deep coughing fits, dry heaving and gags and a green sputum production. This shows that the case of Maria is acute.

Factors that may impact the disorder.

Behavior and age of the patient may impact the disorder. Behavior/ lifestyle choices may be a major factor as this may explain the probable cause of the infection. A probable cause may be inhalation of chemicals or physical irritants in the environment. Maria may have a behavior of exposing herself to air pollutants, thus, leading to a respiratory infection. The age of the patient may also trigger the disorder; in that her immune system may have deteriorated and may be prone to infections based on her age (36 years). This shows that she may be prone to influenza infection easily. Thus, this may trigger the disorder.


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

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