Early signs of Guillain Barre Syndrome are initial series of a headaches, fever, vomiting, back and lower limb pain that eventually turn into paralysis. In the first week patient experience numbness and tingling followed by complete weakness. Generally the paralysis is ascending though frequently it’s progressive and affects entire four limbs in short span of time.
The intensity of disease vary upon individuals, however there are few complications that occur during the Guillain Barre Syndrome like paralysis spreads towards pulmonary system causing respiratory failure and often patients are put on continuous ventilators for proper pulmonary function.
Approximately 30% of patients experience this fatal pulmonary complication. In few chronic Guillain Barre Syndrome cases people may lose muscle by constant paralysis. Possible triggering fatal complications may be severe weakness and relapse of muscles that happens even after 3-5 years of the initial Guillain Barre Syndrome attack. Several patients experience complications such as chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradicalneuropathy, previously it was also recognized as Guillain Barre Syndrome but now it’s identified as CIDP or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradicalneuropathy. Statistics revealed that after all the intensive care, prompt medical support 5% of Guillain Barre Syndrome patients die. The overall stats show that 80% patients survives from the deadly affects of this acute nervous illness and recover completely or get slight inappropriate sensations like tingling or numbness even after years of first attack.
Guillain Barre Syndrome is a rare autoimmune illness that damages peripheral nerves, initially muscle weakness is the common symptom which leads to complete paralysis. It is a devastating disease as it suddenly takes entire body in its grip, early signs are pain, tingling, inappropriate sensations and ascending paralysis in legs. Guillain Barre Syndrome is an overwhelming disease as patients and families get shocked at its speedy attack on the body.
Majority of patients reach the stage of maximum weakness approximately after 2-3 weeks since the early signs appear, therefore by the end of 3-4 week 90% of Guillain Barre Syndrome become weakest and hardly move a muscle. However there are dissimilarities found in the recovery period, few fortunate people demonstrate fast recovery time and get better in few weeks. While for some the recovery time may take as long as several years.
Almost 30% patients experience worst effects like residual weakness even after 3-5 years of Guillain Barre Syndrome.
Approximately 3% suffer a deterioration of muscle, tingling sensations and constant weakness even after many years of the initial attack.
Scientists are focused on finding innovative treatments for Guillain Barre Syndrome and revolutionizing existing treatments. Scientists are also searching to explore new ways to find cells in immune system that start and responsible for this nervous illness.
Immune system is type of human body’s defense shield, it means protection against foreign antigens, micro-organisms, and toxins. Immune system consists of two main parts, first element is B lymphocytes that produce proteins, antibodies to damage or attack the foreign antigens, micro-organisms and forcefully remove them from the body. It is generally called the humeral immune system. 2nd significant component in immune system is T lymphocytes, these are particular white blood cells that directly damage the foreign micro-organisms. The T lymphocytes are called the cellular immune system. Usually it takes time for both components to perform normally. When an individual is exposed to particular foreign antigen threats, T lymphocytes turn into protective cells therefore antibodies are developed. During an average lifetime, immune system expands a huge library of recognized microorganisms and substances which are sorted and titled as not threat or threat.
Autoimmune disorders are syndromes usually caused when body’s immune system response’s inappropriately against its own cells. Often immune system doesn’t recognize body’s own tissues and start producing auto-antibodies. These anti-bodies begin to damage and attack its own organs, cells and issues. The result is inflammation and autoimmune disorder. Although there had been much research done in this specific field yet the exact cause of autoimmune disorders is unknown. However it is identified that sometime inherited predisposition grows into autoimmune disorders.
Guillain-Barre syndrome is type of autoimmune disorder.
Guillain Barre Syndrome Definition
Generally Guillain Barre Syndrome weakened the muscles and entire body goes through acute paralysis. Often facial nerves get affected, blurred vision and slurred speech are the common signs of this type of paralysis. Numbness or tingling in the feet and hands are also among other obvious sensory symptoms. In other severe cases the muscles of swallowing and breathing get badly damaged. Guillain Barre Syndrome symptoms quickly grow and radically get worse. After that, approximately within 2-4 weeks disease progress usually ends and after 2-4 weeks full functional recovery begins.
Guillain Barre Syndrome Treatments
Currently there are no precise tests for Guillain Barre Syndrome; diagnosis is done by various clinical reports and medical findings. This procedure is commonly referred as electromyography and characteristic modifications from the spinal fluid or from a lumbar puncture. Though there is no exact treatment for Guillain Barre syndrome, doctors prescribe few encouraging treatments.
However it’s extremely significant to start prompt therapy, timely treatment ensures fast recovery, often little hospitalization speed up the recovery.
The initial Guillain Barre Syndrome treatment is plasmapheresis that detoxifies the blood to remove foreign antigens or plasma which gets restored by an albumin solution or alternative artificial substance. Plasma exchange treatment and intravenous immune serum globulin or IVIG have shown positive results. These treatments are successfully used and remarkably shorten time of recovery approximately 50%.
The other common and newer treatment involves the intravenous injection of gamma globulin which blocks the receptors and antibodies that attack the peripheral nerves. Normally injured nerves take longer time to restore.
Plasma exchange contains fewer risks and complications though intravenous immune serum globulin is simpler to administer and has more encouraging results with fewer complications and less side effects.
Majority of Guillain Barre Syndrome patients regain all their functional muscle recovery within one year. Although there is 3-4% cases that became chronic and patients get severe paralysis affects that wastes their muscles and often lose their lives. Months of intensive physical therapy is essential even if the recovery process seems very slow and futile.
Since Guillain Barre Syndrome is a rare and life threatening disease (commonly characterized as severe neuro-muscular paralysis), careful observation of patient’s history is essential. Pattern of the illness, existing treatments, nursing care, in addition to selections from a patient instruction guide published for patients with Guillain Barre Syndrome are crucial data. The basic purpose is to provide facts and information about Guillain Barre Syndrome, primarily accepting and dealing with the disease accordingly, creating awareness among patients and their families, and eventually offer more in-depth analysis for the health care units. Regardless of the possible triggering fatal affects of Guillain Barre Syndrome, there is still hope and results are quite encouraging.
The indications or signs may differ in individual from tingling to numbness with tiredness or exhaustion to complete paralysis. Mechanical ventilation is required at the complete paralytic stage. After the diagnosis patients are generally treated with intravenous immune globulin which considerably decreases time of disease. Though Neuroscience nurses make a noticeable difference in the full functional recovery of Guillain Barre Syndrome patients anticipating possible complication and taking care of their special and emergency needs during the most difficult time of their recovery phase. Despite from physical care, it’s significant to teach and support the patient and family.
Here are few nursing points for patients and their families.
- Treatment is complicated and investigative.
- Patient must be continuously monitored for satisfactory respiratory ability.
- Constant EKG monitoring.
- Supportive nursing care examines and specifies patient”s degree of paralysis.
- In few weeks, paralysis will start to reduce, typically and preliminary from the head towards lower limb.
- Residual effects are exceptional, except extended flaccid paralysis may develop into muscle weakness needing physical treatment and rehabilitation.