Cirrhosis is the late stage of fibrosis or liver scarring caused by a variety of diseases such as hepatitis, fatty liver, and alcohol abuse. It is essential to create a nursing plan for cirrhosis to ensure optimal outcomes in patients. This requires comprehensive assessment, nursing diagnosis, interventions and evaluation of outcomes. A nursing plan for cirrhosis must be individualized to the patient’s needs and goals.
The assessment process starts with assessment of the patient including physical assessment, health history and lab tests. During the physical assessment, the nurse should assess liver tissue integrity, abdominal swelling, presence of hepatic encephalopathy and jaundice. Additionally, the nurse should inquire about the current medications, dietary habits, and alcohol use. Lab test assessments can include direct and indirect bilirubin levels, albumin, alkaline phosphatase, ammonia, and international normalized ratio (INR).
Following the assessment, the nurse can develop nursing diagnoses catered to the patient’s specific needs. Depending on the condition of the patient, these may include:
- Ineffective Tissue Perfusion related to impaired systemic perfusion
- Alteration in Nutrition, Less than Body Requirements related to limited protein intake
- Imbalanced Nutrition related to excessive salt intake
The development of attainable patient outcomes is very important for successful management of cirrhosis. Outcomes should focus on relieving symptoms and treating any underlying causes. This includes stabilizing blood pressure, normalizing electrolyte levels, managing ascites, controlling infection, preventing encephalopathy and treating the underlying cause of cirrhosis.
The interventions used to reach the desired outcomes will depend upon the individual patient, but may include:
- Administering and monitoring medications as prescribed
- Reducing salt intake via diet and lifestyle modifications
- Counseling on safer alcohol consumption
- Educating patient regarding nutrition
- Treating any possible infections
Each intervention should have a rationale to justify its use. These may include improving organ function, controlling fluid balance, reducing inflammation, restoring energy, controlling infection, preventing encephalopathy, and controlling electrolyte imbalance.
The evaluation process looks at the outcomes achieved and the effectiveness of the interventions. This includes monitoring patient-reported symptoms, labtest results, and changes in lifestyle. The nurse should also evaluate the patient’s response to interventions and assess their compliance to the healthcare plan.
Cirrhosis is a life-threatening condition that requires quick and effective management. To ensure successful management and desired outcomes, nurses must create an individualized plan tailored to the patient’s needs. This should include comprehensive assessment, accurate nursing diagnosis, and evidence-based interventions and rationales along with regular evaluations.
- What is cirrhosis? – Cirrhosis is the late stage of fibrosis or liver scarring caused by chronic diseases such as hepatitis, fatty liver, and alcohol abuse.
- What are the treatments for cirrhosis? – Treatment depends on the underlying cause of cirrhosis and can include medication, lifestyle modifications, and surgery.
- What is the prognosis for patients with cirrhosis? – Prognosis depends on the cause of cirrhosis and the patient’s general condition. Treatment and lifestyle modification can improve outlook.
- What is the role of nurses in the management of cirrhosis? – Nurses play an important role in assessment, nursing diagnosis, and intervention while working towards desired outcomes.
- How can lifestyle modifications help treat cirrhosis? – Lifestyle modifications such as reducing salt intake and abstinence from alcohol can greatly improve outcomes in cirrhosis.