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Deficiency or dementia? Exploring B12 deficiency after urostomy

British Journal of Nursing, 2015, Vol.24(11), pp.594-597 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Deficiency or dementia? Exploring B12 deficiency after urostomy
  • Author: Boucher, M. ; Bryan, S. ; Dukes, S.
  • Found In: British Journal of Nursing, 2015, Vol.24(11), pp.594-597 [Peer Reviewed Journal]
  • Subjects: Medical Records ; Prognosis ; Urinary Diversion ; Vascular Dementia ; Vitamin B12 ; Vitamin B12 Deficiency
  • Rights: Copyright 2015 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
  • Description: Vitamin B12 deficiency can be misdiagnosed as a variety of other illnesses, and if left untreated can lead to irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system. This article discusses the case of a 70-year-old female with a urostomy, well known to the stoma care department, who shortly after a routine parastomal hernia repair developed severe confusion, immobility and was unable to communicate. Subsequent investigations ruled out a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and a diagnosis of rapidly progressing vascular dementia was made. An incidental finding of a low vitamin B12 level was identified and treatment commenced. She was transferred to a community hospital and her family were told to 'prepare for the worst'. It was, in fact, the vitamin B12 deficiency that was causing her symptoms of vascular dementia, and once treatment was established she underwent a 'miraculous' improvement, returning to normal life. This article discusses vitamin B12 deficiency and why patients with a urostomy are at risk of developing it; highlights the key role of the stoma care nurse and his or her knowledge of the patient; explores the importance of testing vitamin B12 levels in this group of patients; and discusses key learning and recommendations for practice. 13 references
  • Identifier: ISSN: 09660461 ; DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2015.24.11.594

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