h. Patient weakening due to hypoxia (lack of adequate oxygen).
i. Confusion due to hypoxia.
j. Muscle twitching.
k. Edema (abnormal accumulation of fluid in body tissues).
l. Jugular vein distention.
m. Barrel chest, perhaps.
n. Productive cough with sputum color changes.
Keep in mind that the patient may be suffering from another disease, and
bronchitis is a secondary problem. Remember the following:
a. The patient should avoid possible irritants such as smoking, allergenic agents,
fumes and/or other irritants.
b. Codeine phosphate or a comparable antitussive agent can be used to
suppress a nonproductive cough.
c. Mist inhalations (cool or warmed) and adequate fluid intake can be used to
cope with thick sputum.
d. A drug such as terbutaline can be used to relieve bronchial spasm (violent
e. Antihistamine drugs may reduce bronchial inflammation due to allergy.
f. Other measures may be taken depending on the cause of the bronchitis.
Section III. EMPHYSEMA
The word emphysema means "blown up" or "full of air." In emphysema, the
alveolar walls of the lungs have lost their elasticity, causing air to remain trapped in the
lungs when the person breathes out. A first symptom is that the person exhales less
than his usual amount of air. Alveoli in other areas of the lungs become damaged later.
Many alveoli may unite, thus further reducing the overall volume of air the person is able