Gastrointestinal Diseases NCLEX Review Questions Part 2 Answers and Rationale

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1.    Answer D. Intestinal bacteria synthesize such nutritional substances as vitamin K, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B12, folic acid, biotin, and nicotinic acid. Therefore, antibiotic therapy may interfere with synthesis of these substances, including vitamin K. Intestinal bacteria don’t synthesize vitamins A, D, or E.
2.    Answer B.  Acute pancreatitis can cause decreased urine output, which results from the renal failure that sometimes accompanies this condition. Intracranial pressure neither increases nor decreases in a client with pancreatitis. Tachycardia, not bradycardia, usually is associated with pulmonary or hypovolemic complications of pancreatitis. Hypotension can be caused by a hypovolemic complication, but hypertension usually isn’t related to acute pancreatitis.
3.    Answer B. For a colonoscopy, the nurse initially should position the client on the left side with knees bent. Placing the client on the right side with legs straight, prone with the torso elevated, or bent over with hands touching the floor wouldn’t allow proper visualization of the large intestine.
4.    Answer A. A Mallory-Weiss tear is associated with massive bleeding after a tear occurs in the mucous membrane at the junction of the esophagus and stomach. There is a strong relationship between ethanol usage, resultant vomiting, and a Mallory-Weiss tear. The bleeding is coming from the stomach, not from the lungs as would be true in some cases of tuberculosis. A Mallory-Weiss tear doesn’t occur from chest injuries or falls and isn’t associated with eating spicy foods.
5.    Answer A. Tube feeding solutions and tubing should be changed every 24 hours, or more frequently if the feeding requires it. Doing so prevents contamination and bacterial growth. The head of the bed should be elevated 30 to 45 degrees continuously to prevent aspiration. Checking for gastrostomy tube placement is performed before initiating the feedings and every 4 hours during continuous feedings. Clients may ambulate during feedings.
6.    Answer B. Meperidine’s onset of action is 15 to 30 minutes. It peaks between 30 and 60 minutes and has a duration of action of 2 to 4 hours.
7.    Answer C. A hepatic disorder, such as cirrhosis, may disrupt the liver’s normal use of vitamin K to produce prothrombin (a clotting factor). Consequently, the nurse should monitor the client for signs of bleeding, including purpura and petechiae. Dyspnea and fatigue suggest anemia. Ascites and orthopnea are unrelated to vitamin K absorption. Gynecomastia and testicular atrophy result from decreased estrogen metabolism by the diseased liver.
8.    Answer B. Hypovolemic shock from fluid shifts is a major factor in acute pancreatitis. The other conditions are less likely to exhibit fluid volume deficit.
9.    Answer A. The nurse should irrigate the tube with cola because its effervescence and acidity are suited to the purpose, it’s inexpensive, and it’s readily available in most homes. Advancing the NG tube is inappropriate because the tube is designed to stay in the stomach and isn’t long enough to reach the intestines. Applying intermittent suction or using a syringe for aspiration is unlikely to dislodge the material clogging the tube but may create excess pressure. Intermittent suction may even collapse the tube.
10.    Answer B. For a client with pancreatitis, the physician will probably avoid prescribing morphine because this drug may trigger spasms of the sphincter of Oddi (a sphincter at the end of the pancreatic duct), causing irritation of the pancreas. Meperidine has a somewhat shorter duration of action than morphine. The two drugs are equally addictive. Morphine isn’t associated with hepatic dysfunction.
11.    Answer C. Young women with Chronic low self esteem — are at highest risk for anorexia nervosa because they perceive being thin as a way to improve their self-confidence. Hopelessness and Powerlessness are inappropriate nursing diagnoses because clients with anorexia nervosa seldom feel hopeless or powerless; instead, they use food to control their desire to be thin and hope that restricting food intake will achieve this goal. Anorexia nervosa doesn’t result from a knowledge deficit, such as one regarding good nutrition.
12.    Answer A. Endoscopy permits direct evaluation of the upper GI tract and can detect 90% of bleeding lesions. An upper GI series, or barium study, usually isn’t the diagnostic method of choice, especially in a client with acute active bleeding who’s vomiting and unstable. An upper GI series is also less accurate than endoscopy. Although an upper GI series might confirm the presence of a lesion, it wouldn’t necessarily reveal whether the lesion is bleeding. Hb levels and HCT, which indicate loss of blood volume, aren’t always reliable indicators of GI bleeding because a decrease in these values may not be seen for several hours. Arteriography is an invasive study associated with life-threatening complications and wouldn’t be used for an initial evaluation.
13.    Answer A. Hepatitis A virus typically is transmitted by the oral-fecal route — commonly by consuming food contaminated by infected food handlers. The virus isn’t transmitted by the I.V. route, blood transfusions, or unprotected sex. Hepatitis B can be transmitted by I.V. drug use or blood transfusion. Hepatitis C can be transmitted by unprotected sex.
14.    Answer B.  A client with appendicitis is at risk for infection related to inflammation, perforation, and surgery because obstruction of the appendix causes mucus fluid to build up, increasing pressure in the appendix and compressing venous outflow drainage. The pressure continues to rise with venous obstruction; arterial blood flow then decreases, leading to ischemia from lack of perfusion. Inflammation and bacterial growth follow, and swelling continues to raise pressure within the appendix, resulting in gangrene and rupture. Geriatric, not middle-aged, clients are especially susceptible to appendix rupture.
15.    Answer D. The liver is vital in the synthesis of clotting factors, so when it’s diseased or dysfunctional, as in hepatitis C, bleeding occurs. Treatment consists of administering blood products that aid clotting. These include fresh frozen plasma containing fibrinogen and cryoprecipitate, which have most of the clotting factors. Although administering whole blood, albumin, and packed cells will contribute to hemostasis, those products aren’t specifically used to treat hemostasis. Platelets are helpful, but the best answer is cryoprecipitate and fresh frozen plasma.
16.    Answer B. To prevent reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, the nurse should advise the client to avoid foods and beverages that increase stomach acid, such as coffee and alcohol. The nurse also should teach the client to avoid lying down after meals, which can aggravate reflux, and to take antacids after eating. The client need not limit fluid intake with meals as long as the fluids aren’t gastric irritants.
17.    Answer D. I.V. infusions containing normal saline solution and potassium should be given first to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance. For the client’s comfort and to assist in bowel decompression, the nurse should prepare to insert an NG tube next. A blood sample is then obtained for laboratory studies to aid in the diagnosis of bowel obstruction and guide treatment. Blood studies usually include a complete blood count, serum electrolyte levels, and blood urea nitrogen level. Pain medication often is withheld until obstruction is diagnosed because analgesics can decrease intestinal motility.
18.    Answer B. Dysphagia may be the reason why a client with esophagitis or achalasia seeks treatment. Dysphagia isn’t associated with rectal tenesmus, duodenal inflammation, or abnormal gastric structures.
19.    Answer A. An NG tube that fails to drain during the postoperative period should be reported to the physician immediately. It may be clogged, which could increase pressure on the suture site because fluid isn’t draining adequately. Repositioning or irrigating an NG tube in a client who has undergone gastric surgery can disrupt the anastomosis. Increasing the level of suction may cause trauma to GI mucosa or the suture line.
20.    Answer B. Elevation of serum lipase is the most reliable indicator of pancreatitis because this enzyme is produced solely by the pancreas. A client’s BUN is typically elevated in relation to renal dysfunction; the AST, in relation to liver dysfunction; and LD, in relation to damaged cardiac muscle.
21.    Answer A. Yellow sclerae may be the first sign of jaundice, which occurs when the common bile duct is obstructed. Urine normally is light amber. Circumoral pallor and black, tarry stools don’t occur in common bile duct obstruction; they are signs of hypoxia and GI bleeding, respectively.
22.    Answer D. Risk factors for peptic (gastric and duodenal) ulcers include alcohol abuse, smoking, and stress. A sedentary lifestyle and a history of hemorrhoids aren’t risk factors for peptic ulcers. Chronic renal failure, not acute renal failure, is associated with duodenal ulcers.
23.    Answer D. The RUQ contains the liver, gallbladder, duodenum, head of the pancreas, hepatic flexure of the colon, portions of the ascending and transverse colon, and a portion of the right kidney. The sigmoid colon is located in the left lower quadrant; the appendix, in the right lower quadrant; and the spleen, in the left upper quadrant.
24.    Answer B. The nurse should first place saline-soaked sterile dressings on the open wound to prevent tissue drying and possible infection. Then the nurse should call the physician and take the client’s vital signs. The dehiscence needs to be surgically closed, so the nurse should never try to close it.
25.    Answer B. Paregoric has an additive effect of constipation when used with anticholinergic drugs. Antiarrhythmics, anticoagulants, and antihypertensives aren’t known to interact with paregoric.
26.    Answer A. Because stool forms in the large intestine, an ileostomy typically drains liquid waste. To avoid fluid loss through ileostomy drainage, the nurse should instruct the client to increase fluid intake. The nurse should teach the client to wear a collection appliance at all times because ileostomy drainage is incontinent, to avoid high-fiber foods because they may irritate the intestines, and to avoid enteric-coated medications because the body can’t absorb them after an ileostomy
27.    Answer C. Shock and bleeding must be controlled before oral intake, so the client should receive nothing by mouth. A regular diet is incorrect. When the bleeding is controlled, the diet is gradually increased, starting with ice chips and then clear liquids. Skim milk shouldn’t be given because it increases gastric acid production, which could prolong bleeding. A liquid diet is the first diet offered after bleeding and shock are controlled.
28.    Answer B. Hallmark signs and symptoms of hepatitis A include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. Abdominal pain may occur but doesn’t radiate to the shoulder. Eructation and constipation are common in gallbladder disease, not hepatitis A. Abdominal ascites is a sign of advanced hepatic disease, not an early sign of hepatitis A.
29.    Answer C. To maintain enteric precautions, the nurse must wash the hands after touching the client or potentially contaminated articles and before caring for another client. A private room is warranted only if the client has poor hygiene — for instance, if the client is unlikely to wash the hands after touching infective material or is likely to share contaminated articles with other clients. For enteric precautions, the nurse need not wear a mask and must wear a gown only if soiling from fecal matter is likely.
30.    Answer C. Hepatitis A can be caused by consuming contaminated water, milk, or food — especially shellfish from contaminated water. Hepatitis B is caused by blood and sexual contact with an infected person. Hepatitis C is usually caused by contact with infected blood, including receiving blood transfusions.

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