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Mucor is a fungus found in soil, decaying fruit, vegetables and other plants (Doctor Fungus, 2018). Mucor progresses from an infection into pneumonia by entering the lungs during inhalation of spores, mucor can also enter the body through a cut or opening in the body (Mandanas, 2017). The infection most commonly occurs in immunocompromised patients, and is not contagious (Mandanas, 2017). Nursing interventions that would be helpful in treating a patient with a mucor infection revolve largely around respiratory function. The nurse should monitor the patient’s respiratory function very carefully, ensuring proper oxygen saturation is maintained. Ensuring that there is suction available and working properly at the bedside is an important safety intervention that the nurse can provide. The patient’s lung sounds should be monitored, and the respiratory rate should be performed by the nurse. The nurse can also teach the patient about proper use of the incentive spirometer if patient is awake and able to use it as prescribed. The nurse should also ensure that proper fluid intake is maintained in the patient as long as it is not contraindicated.
The Centers for Disease Control defines Mucormycosis as “a serious but rare fungal infection caused by a group of molds called mucormycetes. These molds live throughout the environment and mainly affect people with weakened immune systems. It can occur in nearly any part of the body but most commonly affects the sinuses or the lungs after inhaling fungal spores from the air, or the skin after the fungus enters the skin through a cut, scrape, burn, or other type of skin trauma” (Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, nd).
Because of an already weakened immune system, pneumonia is not uncommon after Mucormycosis. The Mucormycosis triggers the immune system to respond by sending WBC’s to attack the organism. The neutrophils engulf and kill the organism, however it releases cytokines which cause a general activation of the immune system, typically leading to pneumonia. Two medical interventions that would be helpful include stating antibiotics for antifungal treatments and a more recent discovery is recommending the use of hyperbaric chambers because, “ It is hypothesized that hyperbaric oxygen might be useful for treating Mucormycosis in conjunction with standard therapy because higher oxygen pressure improves the ability of neutrophils to kill the organism” (Edwards, Ibrahim, & Spellberg, 2005, para 57).
In evaluating the laboratory results, it is noted that the patient is in Respiratory Alkalosis. The fasting blood glucose is elevated, along with elevated WBC’s. This is all indicative of raspatory infection. A common risk factor for Mucormycosis Pneumonia is diabetes. Studies show that of 86 case reviews, 56% of the patients were diabetic (Igbal, Irfan, Jabeen, Kazmi, & Tariq, 2017). The elevated WBC is in relation to the fungal infection. The ABG shows a respiratory imbalance in relation to the infection.
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