NCLEX® Question of the Day: Pertussis
Published on Jul 14, 2021. Updated on Jul 13, 2021.
A 1-year-old child is admitted to the pediatric unit with a diagnosis of pertussis. Which type of transmission-based precautions should the nurse institute?
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The correct answer to today's NCLEX-RN® Question is...
Rationale: Droplet precautions are one type of transmission-based precautions. Droplet precautions are used for clients with known or suspected infections that are transmitted through respiratory droplets from coughing, sneezing, or talking. Pertussis (whooping cough) is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and is spread through respiratory droplets. The bacteria attach to the cilia of the respiratory epithelial cells, produce toxins that paralyze the cilia, and cause inflammation of the respiratory tract which interferes with the clearing of pulmonary secretions. Droplet precautions include placing the client in a single room, donning a mask, and limiting the transport of the client.
The nurse should institute standard precautions in addition to the appropriate transmission-based precautions when required to prevent the transmission of pathogens. Pertussis (whooping cough) is spread via respiratory droplets so the nurse should institute droplet precautions when caring for a client with pertussis.
Incorrect answer explanations
Rationale: Contact precautions is one type of transmission-based precaution. Contact precautions are used for clients with known or suspected infections that are transmitted by contact. In pertussis, contact is not the primary mode of transmission. Contact precautions include using personal protective equipment (PPE) of gown and gloves, limiting transport of the client, using disposable or dedicated equipment like blood pressure cuffs and frequently cleaning and disinfecting the rooms.
Rationale: Airborne precautions is one type of transmission-based precaution. Airborne precautions are used for organisms transferred through the air such as measles, tuberculosis, and chickenpox. In pertussis, this is not the primary mode of transmission. Airborne precautions include using an airborne isolation room or placing a mask on the client and keeping the door closed, restricting susceptible healthcare team members from entering the room, using an N95 respirator or higher, and limiting the transport of the client.
Rationale: Standard precautions are used for all clients and include hand hygiene as well as any required personal protective equipment (PPE), like gloves, gown, mask, eye protection, or face shield, to protect the nurse from being exposed to the client’s blood and body fluid.
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