4 Tonsillitis Nursing Care Plans

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Tonsillitis refers to inflammation and infection of the tonsils, which consist of pairs of lymph tissue in the nasal and oropharyngeal passages. Bacterial or viral pharyngitis usually leads to the infection of the tonsils. Inflammation and edema of the tonsillar tissue makes swallowing and talking difficult, and forces the child to breathe through the mouth. Advanced infection can result in cellulitis to adjacent tissue or abscess formation which may require drainage.

Management of bacterial tonsillitis is through the use of supportive measures such as adequate hydration, rest, antipyretics, analgesic, and complete course of an antibiotic such as penicillin. A client with chronic tonsillitis is advised to undergo tonsillectomy which is the removal of the palatine tonsils located in the oropharynx. The adenoids are tonsils located in the nasopharynx and also sometimes removed by adenoidectomy.

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Acute Pain

Acute Pain: Unpleasant sensory and emotional experience arising from actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage; sudden or slow onset of any intensity from mild to severe with anticipated or predictable end and a duration of <6 months.

May be related to

  • Surgical incision

Possibly evidenced by

  • Client statements about pain
  • Pain rating on a scale
  • Nonverbal indications of discomfort such as grimacing, crying, clinging to parent

Desired Outcomes

  • Child will state level of pain is decreased and will appear more relaxed/comfortable.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Assess pain using appropriate pain scale for child’s age and development.Use of a pain scale allows objective measurement of subjective pain perception.
Observe child for nonverbal indications of pain such as crying, grimacing, irritability.Provides additional information about pain. The child may find discomfort in speaking.
Avoid hot, spicy, and coarse food such as chips or crackers.Aggravate the pain and can cause bleeding
Apply an ice collar on the neck or encourage the child to eat popsicles.Cold promotes vasoconstriction and decreases swelling that contributes to pain.
Suggest diversional activity such as watching a video, reading a book or listening to music.Provides a distraction from discomfort.
Administer pain medications as prescribed such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or oxycodone. Monitor for effectiveness and side effects.Throat pain is common during the first several days (occasionally up to 10 days) post surgery. Rectal administration of analgesia is also possible for the very young client.
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See Also

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Pediatric Nursing Care Plans


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