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Wegener's Granulomatosis

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) is a rare blood vessel disease where your blood vessels are inflamed. Small lumps called granulomas may also form when the cells lining your blood vessels die. This can cause a decrease in blood flow to your organs, most commonly your respiratory tract, lungs, and kidneys.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

RISKS:

Granulomas may block the blood flow to other body organs and damage your organs and tissues. You may have skin problems, hearing and vision loss, and you may have a heart attack. Your lungs may not function properly. The inflammation and granulomas may lead to kidney failure and could be life-threatening.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.

An IV

is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.

Vital signs:

Caregivers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. These vital signs give caregivers information about your current health.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics may be given to treat or prevent an infection.

  • Steroids are given to decrease inflammation.

  • Immunosuppressive therapy may be given to slow your immune system and help prevent organ damage.

Tests:

  • Blood and urine tests are done to check for infection, kidney function, and antibodies to WG.

  • A chest x-ray checks for lung damage that may be caused by WG.

  • A biopsy may be done to check for damage caused by WG. A tissue sample from your affected organ is taken and sent to a lab for tests.

Treatment:

  • Plasma exchange is done to separate the plasma in your blood from your blood cells. Plasma is the liquid part of your blood. Your blood cells are then returned to your body and your body creates new plasma. Plasma exchange may be needed if you have life-threatening organ damage. Ask for more information about plasma exchange.

  • Surgery may be needed to help control nosebleeds or repair damage to your nose. You may also need surgery to repair damage tissue in your airway. A kidney transplant may be needed if WG causes your kidneys to fail. Ask for more information about surgeries to treat the effects of WG.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Wegener's Granulomatosis (Inpatient Care)

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