Nursing Management and Prevention of Poliomyelitis or Polio

Prevention and Nursing Management of Polio or Poliomyelitis

Definition of Poliomyelitis or Polio:

Poliomyelitis or Polio is an acute viral infection caused by an RNA virus affecting the central nervous system and infrequently resulting in paralysis. It is characterized by fever malaise, headache stiffness of neck and back with increased cells and protein in CSF. Polio is an acute viral illness that in its most severe from causes paralysis, difficulty breathing and sometimes death.

Nursing management of polio or poliomyelitis
Fig: Nursing management of polio or poliomyelitis

Nursing Management of Polio or Poliomyelitis:

No specific treatment is available for poliomyelitis. The prompt symptomatic and supportive management help in good prognosis, Good nursing care plays vital role for recovery and better outcome.

  1. Hospitalization is necessary for all paralytic polio cases.
  2. Strict bed rest preferably on hard bed with minimum and gentle handling of the affected part is very essential.
  3. Positioning of the patient to be done to keep the airway patent and head to be turned to one side for gravity drainage of oropharyngeal secretions.
  4. Analgesics may be administered to relief pain.
  5. Hot moist pack or dry heat with infrared 1lamp or hot tub bath may be useful to reduce pain of the affected part.
  6. Antihypertensive drugs may be needed in some cases.
  7. Mild sedative tranquilizer may be given in spinal paralysis to relief anxiety.
  8. In case of respiratory failure, the patient should be managed in ICU with assisted ventilation in the mechanical ventilator.
  9. Maintenance of fluid-electrolyte balances is very important in acute phase of illness.
  10. When muscle pain and spasm is relieved, then full range passive physiotherapy should be provided to prevent deformities and promote muscle power.
  11. Rehabilitation of the paralyzed child should be planned according to the degree of involvement.

Preventive Measures or Prevention of Poliomyelitis or Polio:

Active immunization with oral polio vaccine (OPV) is the important preventive measures. Trivalent OPV- 2 drops is administered orally in 3 doses at one month intervals from 6 weeks of age onwards. In institutional delivery ‘0’ dose OPV is given at birth. A booster dose of OPV is given at 16 to 24 months of age.

The strategy for eradication is four pronged:

  • High routine immunization coverage with OPV.
  • Supplementary immunization in the form of National Immunization Day (NID) or Pulse Polio Immunization program.
  • Effective surveillance system, and
  • Final stage consisting of mopping up by door to door immunization campaigns.

Factors Favoring Eradication of Polio:

The below factors favors to eradicate of polio:

  • Man is the only host,
  • No long term carrier state,
  • OPV is easy to administration,
  • OPV is cheap,
  • Live attenuated viruses in OPV multiply in intestine and interrupt the transmission or wild viruses,
  • OPV induces both humoral and intestinal immunity,
  • Antibody is quickly produced,
  • Viruses can be transmitted from a recently vaccinated child to close contacts who has not immunized,
  • No insect vector or animal is involved in the transmission of the disease,
  • Having international cooperation.

Definition of Eradication:

Eradication of disease implies termination of all transmission of infection by extermination of the infectious agent is called eradication. eg, Small pox is the only disease that has been eradicated.

Polio Eradication Programmed in Bangladesh:

The university child summit of 1988 adopted a resolution to eradicate poliomyelitis from the world by the years 2000. Eradication of poliomyelitis is a global programmed and the strategies recommended by WHO to achieve the goal of eradication are-

  • Achieving and maintaining high immunization coverage.
  • Reporting and investigation all acute paralysis cases among children (Polio suspect).
  • Conducting supplementary immunization which includes case reporting mopping up and national immunization day (NID).

NID is supplementary vaccination strategy aiming at interruption of transmission of poliomyelitis. NID means vaccination simultaneously throughout the country with OPV of all children less than five years, repeated twice, with four to six weeks interval. This helps to establish vaccine virus in the community in place of wild polio virus.

More questions related to this article:

  1. Define poliomyelitis.
  2. What is polio?
  3. What is poliomyelitis?
  4. Write down the nursing management of poliomyelitis.
  5. How will you prevent and control poliomyelitis?
  6. Write down the preventive measures of poliomyelitis.
  7. Describe the factors favoring eradication of polio.
  8. Define eradication.
  9. Describe polio eradication programmed in Bangladesh.
  10. What is eradication?
  11. Write down the polio eradication programmed in Bangladesh.

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