lab3 - 3 Treating a Disease Objectives In this chapter we...

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16 3 Treating a Disease Objectives In this chapter we will study strategies for the treatment of disease; measures for infection control in the clinic; medical word roots for clinical procedures; types of drugs and routes of administration; and symbols and abbreviations used in pharmaceutics. The Aims of Therapy Once a disease has been diagnosed, appropriate therapy (treatment) can begin. Incurable diseases such as Alzheimer disease can be managed only with palliative treatment, which is aimed at alleviating the symptoms and maximizing the patient’s comfort rather than curing the disease. Preventive treatment is aimed at warding off a disease to which a patient has been exposed or is likely to be exposed. Vaccinations are an example of preventive treatment. If the disease is curable, a plan of active treatment is instituted to eliminate the cause and restore homeostasis. The Therapeutic Partnership An effective treatment plan (regimen) is, at its best, a partnership between the clinician and the patient or the patient’s caregivers. Depending on the diagnosis, it may include medicine, surgery, and a combination of diet, exercise, physical therapy, and other restorative activities. Patients have the right to refuse treatment to the extent permitted by law. Some health- care facilities require patients to sign an informed consent form testifying that they have been adequately informed of the diagnosis, prognosis, and risks and benefits of the treatment, and have made a voluntary decision to pursue the treatment plan. This is especially important if the treatment plan includes specialized diagnostic procedures, surgery, or experimental therapy. One of the greatest obstacles to successful treatment is noncompliance, the failure or inability of the patient or caregivers to follow the plan—for example, by not taking a prescription drug regularly, not adhering to a diet, or not returning for follow-up examinations and care. Controlling Infections of Clinical Origin The clinical setting itself poses some challenges to treatment. Many people under treatment contract nosocomial infections —infections acquired in a clinic or hospital by exposure to pathogens introduced into that environment by other patients. The very facilities that are intended to cure disease are, for some, the indirect cause of death. Therefore, it is important to rigorously control the spread of pathogens in the clinical environment. Sterilization means the complete removal of microbes from medical instruments and other objects. It is a contradiction in terms to describe something as “partially sterile”—either it is sterile or it isn’t. Techniques of sterilization include pressurized steam (as in an autoclave ), dry heat, ultraviolet light or other radiation, chemicals such as alcohol and phenol, or
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This note was uploaded on 11/16/2011 for the course SCIENCE Anatomy an taught by Professor Tory during the Spring '11 term at Kennesaw.

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lab3 - 3 Treating a Disease Objectives In this chapter we...

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