Lilly Benthaus: Day 0 admission

Laboratory values

In the following we take a look at Lilly’s blood analysis on admission on Day 0. Patient blood is used to measure the most important parameters in order to narrow down the list of possible causes for disease. Below we begin with explanations of the individual parameters:

Erythrocytes are red blood cells. If a person has too few of these, problems in oxygen transport are the result. Too many erythrocytes is a rare finding except in the case of long-term lung diseases or a few diseases of the bone marrow.

Leukocytes are white blood cells. This is a collective term for all cells in the blood which are responsible for the immune response. In a case of infection the leukocyte count rises very quickly, and the more severe the infection the higher the count.

Thrombocytes are blood platelets. They are responsible for blood clotting following injury, and the thrombocyte count can be higher or lower than normal for a variety of reasons.

Sodium is the most important cation in blood. Sodium is responsible for part of the osmotic pressure of the blood and thus has an effect on the amount of water contained in the blood. If the level of sodium is too high or too low, the water in the body is quickly redistributed, and this can be life-threatening.

Potassium is important for the conductivity of nerve and muscle cells. Too much or too little potassium in the blood triggers cardiac arrhythmia. Although the body closely controls the level of potassium, it can easily be upset through the introduction of medication.

The blood sugar level indicates how much glucose is contained in the blood. Glucose is the primary energy source for practically all cells. The blood sugar level is controlled by means of insulin and many other hormones. In diabetes mellitus this regulation process is impaired and the blood sugar level is too high. Very high blood sugar levels can be fatal.

The C-reactive protein (CRP) is a protein in the acute immune response against infection. Once an infection has been detected by the immune system, CRP is released from the liver and aids in the defense against infection. In medical diagnosis it has become established as the most important blood marker for infection in the blood.

The term O2 saturation is used to designate the proportion of hemoglobin in the blood which is saturated with oxygen. This value indicates how well capable the lungs and breathing are in supplying the body with oxygen. In the case of chronic lung diseases, these values can be continuously low (< 85%) without the patient noticing any symptoms. Below 80% organic function is impaired; below 60% unconsciousness occurs.


Here you find the laboratory values for Lilly Benthaus on admission on Day 0. In the column ‘Normal range’ you find the normal values. Mark to indicate whether Lilly’s values should be considered conspicuous.

Parameter Normal range Unit Admission Conspicuous
Erythrocytes 4,3 – 5,75 x 10^12/l 4,7
Leukocytes 3,9 – 10,2 x 10^9/l 11,5
Thrombocytes 150 – 370 x 10^9/l 240
Sodium 136 – 145 mmol/l 140
Potassium 3,5 – 4,5 mmol/l 4,0
Blood sugar 2,76 – 5,89 mmol/l 4,3
C-reactive protein (CRP) < 5,0 mg/l 7,8
O2 saturation > 94 % 96

Lung function

In the following we take a look at the examination of oxygen uptake, respiratory volumes and the bronchial system with the aid of various instruments. Since these values are strongly dependent on the patient in question (age, gender, body size), there are no universally accepted normal values. Instead, an indication is given of how close the results lie to the expected value for the individual patient. Values between 80 and 100% are considered normal here. In the routine determination of lung function in cystic fibrosis patients, two values are of particular importance:

This is the air volume between the deepest possible inhalation and exhalation, in other words, the largest breath the patient can take. The value is an indication of possible limitation in lung volume, but does not provide any information on the cause. This value may be altered in the case of advanced degeneration due to smoking or infection.

The volume of air which leaves the lung during one second of the most rapid possible exhalation. Reduced values suggest an impairment in the air flow in the bronchial tubes and classically occur in diseases which constrict the bronchial tubes, such as bronchial asthma or cystic fibrosis. In cystic fibrosis FEV1 is used as a quick test of the acute condition of the lungs since a large volume of mucus reduces the value.

Here you can find the lung function values for Lilly Benthaus on admission on Day 0. The normal range is 80-100%. Mark whether Lilly’s values should be considered conspicuous.

Lung function (normal range 80 – 100%)

Parameter Admission % of the norm Conspicuous
VC 3,60 L 92
FEV1 2,53 L 69

Microbiological results

Concentration on agar & Microbial load

Next we will consider three parameters:

Today, precise identification of bacterial species is performed using complicated but very quick methods of mass spectrometry. Identification is important as it is used in making a preliminary selection of antibiotics, since not all antibiotics work against all bacteria. The final selection of a medication is based on measured resistances and on patient information (e.g. allergies).

This provides a rough indication of the number of bacterial cells on the agar plate using categories such as ‘dense’, ‘substantial’, ‘thin’ and ‘isolated’.

The microbial load is a more precise indication of the number of bacterial cells per milliliter of material. It can be determined by counting the colonies or by means of quantitative molecular biology methods.

Material: sputum

Query: pathogen identification

Results of culture:

Day Pathogens Concentration on agar
Microbial load (cells/ml)
Aufnahme Pseudomonas aeruginosa substantial 2 x 10^5

Determining resistance with the Kirby-Bauer test

After being identified, the bacteria is tested against potential antibiotics. If a medication no longer kills off enough bacteria in the laboratory, the strain is considered resistant and the medication can be used on this patient only in a case of emergency. As you have already learned in the microbiological methods course, the Kirby-Bauer test is performed to determine which of the patient’s pathogens is sensitive or resistant to which antibiotics. Use the ruler to measure the diameter of the zone of inhibition.

Enter the measured values and mark to indicate which antibiotics Lilly Benthaus’ pathogens are sensitive/resistant to.

Tip: If the diameter of the zone of inhibition is below the breakpoint limit, the patient’s pathogens should be considered resistant to the antibiotic in question. If the diameter of the zone of inhibition is above the limit, the patient’s pathogens should be considered sensitive to the antibiotic in question.


Antibiotic Resistance threshold


Zone of inhibition



sensitive resistant

Ciprofloxacin 26
Gentamicin 15
Meropenem 24


Information on the antibiotics

Bacteria-killing antibiotic from the class of fluoroquinolones. It works by inhibiting a bacterial enzyme which is needed in copying the DNA during cell division. It works well against a broad spectrum of bacteria and is often applied in everyday medical practice for non-life-threatening infections. In the meantime, many resistant strains of different pathogens exist worldwide.

Bacteria-killing antibiotic from the class of aminoglycosides. It works by inhibiting protein synthesis at the bacterial ribosomes. Its effective spectrum is not as wide as that of ciprofloxacin, but it works well against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Resistances exist worldwide in a few percent of bacteria.

Bacteria-killing antibiotic from the class of β-lactams and therefore a relative of penicillin. It works by disrupting the building of the bacterial cell wall and covers a very wide spectrum of dangerous pathogens. It is often used against Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Patient consultation

Lilly Benthaus

“Right now I feel pretty well. I have had the infection with Pseudomonas for nearly five years, but I hardly notice any effects from it. In the morning I always cough up a little bit, but the amount hasn’t increased. Also, I go running regularly and I can keep up with the others without getting out of breath. I haven’t run a fever recently. The last time I took ciprofloxacin; it made me nauseous and I got a skin rash. That’s why I wouldn’t like to take that antibiotic again.”

Notes on the patient consultation

Daily report – Day 0 Lilly Benthaus

Which antibiotic have you decided on? Mark it with an x.