Surgical Care


A nurse is working on the medical-surgical unit of the hospital and is starting their shift for the day shift. One of their patients is Mr. W. who is admitted for exacerbation of symptoms related to Cirrhosis. Mr. W. is a 55-year-old male who has a history of alcohol abuse disorder, having abused alcohol for 33 years; he also suffers from Atrial Fibrillation, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and is a smoker since age 16. He was admitted to the hospital last evening for severe, “9.5” abdominal pain on a scale of 1 to 10 pain scale (Haws & Haws, 2017).

Upon assessment, the nurse notes that Mr. W. has pale skin with a slightly yellowish hue, his abdomen is full and rounded and he has 3+ pitting edema from the ankles to below the knee bilaterally. He complains that his skin feels itchy and he is very tired. He rates his abdominal pain as “6” on a scale of 1 to 10 (Haws & Haws, 2017). He is short of breath and unable to lie flat due to the largeness of his abdomen.

Within the academic paper clearly identify each question with a heading and fully answer each question utilizing the case study above to support your statements.

1. Mr. W.’s condition is caused by his history of alcohol abuse. Explain how chronic alcohol abuse causes cirrhosis of the liver.

2. List other potential causes of cirrhosis that are unrelated to alcohol intake.

3. What type of diagnostic tests would Mr. W. have had that would have confirmed his diagnosis of cirrhosis?

4. What activities or lifestyle factors would most likely worsen Mr. W.’s condition?

Mr. W. undergoes an ultrasound, which confirms that he has abdominal ascites. The nurse sets up and prepares to assist the physician with paracentesis to remove the excess fluid from Mr. W.’s abdomen (Haws & Haws, 2017).