Adam Smith, 77 years of age, is a male patient who was admitted from a nursing home to the intensive care unit with septic shock secondary to urosepsis. The patient has a Foley catheter in place from the nursing home with cloudy greenish, yellow-colored urine with sediments. The nurse removes the catheter after obtaining a urine culture and replaces it with a condom catheter attached to a drainage bag since the patient has a history of urinary and bowel incontinence. The patient is confused, afebrile, and hypotensive with a blood pressure of 82/44 mm Hg. His respiratory rate is 28 breaths/min and the pulse oximeter reading is at 88% room air, so the physician ordered 2 to 4 L of oxygen per nasal cannula titrated to keep SaO2 greater than 90%. The patient responded to 2 L of oxygen per nasal cannula with a SaO2 of 92%. The patient has diarrhea. His blood glucose level is elevated at 160 mg/dL. The white blood count is 15,000 and the C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, is elevated. The patient is being treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics and norepinephrine (Levophed) beginning at 2 mcg/min and titrated to keep systolic blood pressure greater than 100 mm Hg. A subclavian triple lumen catheter was inserted and verified by chest x-ray for correct placement. An arterial line was placed in the right radial artery to closely monitor the patient’s blood pressure during the usage of the vasopressor therapy. (Learning Objectives 6 and 7)
- What predisposed the patient to develop septic shock?
- What potential findings would suggest that the patient’s septic shock is worsening from the point of admission?
- The norepinephrine concentration is 16 mg in 250 mL of normal saline (NS). Explain how the nurse should administer the medication. What nursing implications are related to the usage of a vasoactive medication?
- Explain why the effectiveness of a vasoactive medication decreases as the septic shock worsens. What treatment should the nurse anticipate to be obtained to help the patient?