VOL: 99, ISSUE: 02, PAGE NO: 28
- Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder of the exocrine glands. Both sexes can be affected.
- Cystic fibrosis is usually recognised in infancy or early childhood.
- Cystic fibrosis causes the glands to produce abnormally thick secretions of mucus. The glands most affected are in the pancreas, the respiratory system, and the sweat glands.
- The most reliable tool is the sweat test. This will show elevated levels of sodium and chloride.
- The main aim of treatment is to prevent respiratory infections; these are the most common cause of death.
- The nurse’s role in health promotion, including exercise and nutrition, is crucial. Exercise helps to loosen the mucus - stimulating coughing to clear it out of the lungs - and improves the patient’s overall condition.
- The discovery of the cystic fibrosis gene means that research is aimed at correcting the genetic defect.