Clinical Case Study

You are a pathologist working in the lab at Daigger Memorial Hospital (located in central Oregon). The emergency room is sending you cultures collected from patients. Your job is to determine:

  1. The pathogenic bacteria causing the disease
  2. What disease is being presented
  3. What is the best treatment given the patient’s unique symptoms and history

Review the patient assessment form provided. Consider the type of sample taken and determine the relevant primary and secondary symptoms. Generally, samples taken in a clinical setting contain multiple organisms. In this case study, the sample will contain one contaminant organism and one causative agent.

Note: Watch for allergies. These may affect the appropriate treatment you will prescribe for the patient.

For some diseases, an irregularity in pulse or respiration, for example, may be indicative of the seriousness of the illness or may even be a direct indicator of the disease presented. Therefore, it is important that you understand what is considered “Within Normal Limits” for all assessment areas on the patient assessment form. Familiarize yourself with the acceptable normal ranges for pulse, respiration, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, and temperature for the age group your patient falls within.

Clinical Case Study Flowchart »

Patient Assessment Form »

Normal Flora According to Body System

Adapted from: Strohl, W.A. Lippincott's Illustrated Reviews: Microbiology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Baltimore, MD. 2001 and Forbes, B.A. Bailey and Scott's Diagnostic Microbiology. Eleventh Edition. Mosby. St. Louis, MO. 2002