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Assessment

Questions to ponder in a mitochondrial patient who is getting sick

  • Know your patient well. Each individual responds to stress in his/her own way.
  • Know the history of the individual's illness presentation and how he has responded to illness in the past:
    • What is a significant fever for him?
    • Does he decompensate quickly?
    • Does he have a difficult time returning to baseline?
    • Does he respond to fever medications?
    • Does he stop eating and/or drinking when sick?
    • Does he show behavioral or cognitive changes?
    • Does he have difficulty breathing (perhaps due to apnea, respiratory muscle weakness?)?
    • Do his symptoms worsen (e.g., GI symptoms)?
    • What other autonomic symptoms worsen with infection?
    • Does he have show abnormalities in blood and urine tests?
  • Assess hydration. Know his baseline hydration status.
  • Is the patient at increased risk for sepsis (e.g., has an indwelling central line or port-a-cath)?
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