Nursing Diagnosis for Peritonsillar Abscess

Nursing Care Plan

An abscess is a collection of pus in any part of the body that, in most cases, causes swelling and inflammation around it.

Peritonsillar abscess is a complication of tonsillitis. It is most often caused by a type of bacteria called group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus.

Peritonsillar abscess is usually a disease of older children, adolescents, and young adults. It has become uncommon with the use of antibiotics to treat tonsillitis.

Peritonsillar abscesses (PTAs) are common infections of the head and neck region and comprise approximately 30% of soft tissue head and neck abscesses. Physicians must be aware of the typical clinical presentation and diagnostic strategies in order to quickly diagnose and appropriately treat these patients to prevent complications and further propagation of the infectious process.

Risk factors:
  • Previous tonsillitis
  • Chronic or recurrent tonsillitis
  • May be preceded by a viral respiratory tract infection
  • Immune deficiency
  • Recent dental work
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Cocaine abuse

Symptoms of peritonsillar abscess include:
  • Chills
  • Difficulty opening the mouth, and pain with opening the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Drooling or inability to swallow saliva
  • Facial swelling
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muffled voice
  • Sore throat (may be severe and is usually on one side)
  • Tender glands of the jaw and throat

If the infection is caught early, you will be given antibiotics. More likely, if an abscess has developed, it will need to be drained with a needle or by cutting it open. You will be given pain medicine before this is done.

Sometimes, at the same time the abscess is drained, the tonsils will be removed. In this case, you will be put to sleep with anesthesia.

Nursing Diagnosis for Peritonsillar Abscess

According to Herdman (2007), nursing diagnosis for abscess are:
  1. Acute Pain related to injury biological agents.
  2. Hyperthermia related to the disease process.
  3. Impaired Skin Integrity related to tissue trauma.

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