Diagnosis and management of myasthenia gravis
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Diagnosis and management of myasthenia gravis

Christopher Barber Lecturer in learning disability nursing, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, England

Myasthenia gravis is a rare long-term neurological condition that is characterised by fluctuating skeletal muscle weakness and fatigue, as well as respiratory difficulties. It is both an acquired autoimmune disease and a chronic neuromuscular disorder. Because of its rarity, myasthenia gravis is relatively unknown and may be unfamiliar to many nurses. While there are various types of myasthenia, this article focuses on myasthenia gravis, exploring its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, and examining the nurse’s role in managing the condition. The symptoms of myasthenic crisis and cholinergic crisis are also explained, and the experience of patients with myasthenia gravis in hospital and community settings is illustrated using case studies.

Nursing Standard. 31, 43, 42-47. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10434

Correspondence

chris.barber@bcu.ac.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 31 January 2016

Accepted: 09 August 2016

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