5 Influenza (Flu) Nursing Care Plans

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Influenza (also known as flu, or grippe) is an acute inflammation of the nasopharynx, trachea, and bronchioles, with congestion, edema, and the possibility of necrosis of these respiratory structures. Influenza is a highly contagious infection of the respiratory tract caused by three different types of Myxovirus influenzae. It occurs sporadically or in epidemics which peaks usually during colder months.

Nursing Care Plans

Unless complications occur, influenza doesn’t require hospitalization and patient care usually focuses on the relief of symptoms.

Here are six (5) nursing care plans (NCP) and nursing diagnosis (NDx) for Influenza (Flu):

  1. Ineffective Airway Clearance
  2. Ineffective Breathing Pattern
  3. Hyperthermia
  4. Acute Pain
  5. Deficient Knowledge
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Hyperthermia

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Influenza viral infection
  • Exposure to infection
  • Alterations in fluid and electrolyte balance

Possibly evidenced by

  • Fever
  • Warm, flushed skin
  • Tachycardia
  • Tachypnea
  • Dry mucous membranes
  • Dehydration
  • Oliguria
  • Seizure
  • Changes in mentation
  • Increased BUN and creatinine
  • Electrolyte imbalances

Desired Outcomes

  • Patient will achieve and maintain a normal temperature.
  • Patient will achieve and maintain a balanced intake and output with adequate hydration.
  • Patient will be afebrile with stable vital signs.
Nursing Interventions Rationale
Monitor VS especially temperature, every 2-4 hours and as needed. Utilize the same methods of temperature reading with each measurement. Helps to evaluate the efficacy of treatment and monitors for complications that may occur as a result of increased temperature. Consistency in methods allows for accurate data collection and correlation. Increased temperature is a response to the inflammatory process associated with the disease.
Administer antipyretics as ordered. This type of drug affects the hypothalamic control center to reduce the elevated temperature.
Provide tepid sponge baths. Increases heat loss by evaporation. Tepid baths help prevent chilling that may aggravate and increase temperature.
Use a cooling blanket if the temperature will not decrease with the use of other methods and if the temperature is above 102.5ºF (39.1º C) Hypothermia blankets remove heat by conduction via the cool solution that is circulated in the mattress placed above and/or below the patient. The cooling blanket must be covered to prevent skin tissue injury and burns. They may also lower the temperature quickly and should be monitored to ensure that a hypothermic condition does not occur. Shivering actually increases the patient’s metabolic rate and temperature.
Decreases environmental temperature and remove extra blankets as warranted. Helps reduce temperature
Encourage an increase in fluid intake to 3-4 L/day, unless contraindicated. Increase in body temperature multiplies insensible fluid losses by 10% for every 1 degree C of increase in body temperature, which may result in dehydration.
Monitor intake and output every 2-4 hours. Helps to identify fluid status changes and imbalances, and allows for prompt treatment.
Notify physician of temperature increases that do not respond to any measure used. May indicate other sources of temperature aberration and may cause permanent organ damage.
Monitor patient for seizures. Seizure may occur with high temperatures because of hyperactivity within the brain, which can cause further impair tissue perfusion.
Instruct patient/family in use of hypothermia blanket, reasons for use, signs, and symptoms of complications, etc. Provides knowledge and helps to involve the patient and the family in care.
Instruct patient/family on medications, side effects, and symptoms to report to the nurse. Involves patient and family in care and provide knowledge that facilitates compliance.
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See Also

You may also like the following posts and care plans:

Communicable and Infectious Diseases Care Plans


Care plans related to communicable and infectious diseases:

Respiratory Care Plans

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Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.

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