Caring for a patient with rheumatoid arthritis
D'dee Grove RN, MSN, Assistant Professor

August 2008 
Volume 4  Number 4
Pages 28 - 34
  PDF Version Available!


PULLEN, RICHARD L. Jr. RN, EdD, Professor; EDWARDS, THERESA RN, MSN, Instructor; Grove, D'dee RN, MSN, Assistant Professor

Issue: Volume 4(4), July/August 2008, p 28–34 Publication Type: [Article] Publisher: © 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc. Institution(s): Amarillo College • Amarillo, Tex.

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS (RA) is a chronic systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease that attacks the synovium, the membrane that surrounds joints and creates a protective sac. Within this sac is synovial fluid that lubricates the joints. In addition to cushioning joints, synovial fluid supplies nutrients and oxygen to cartilage, a slippery tissue coating the ends of bones. Cartilage is composed primarily of collagen, a protein that forms a mesh to provide support and flexibility to joints.

In RA, an abnormal immune response produces destructive molecules that ...

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